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400 Highland

Looked closed as we drove by tonight with the paper on the windows and all.

What was that... 4 months?

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  1. This place was on my "lukewarm" list of places that I probably should try, because I try to try everything, but couldn't get really excited about for one reason or another. In the case of 400 Highland, the reason was that the owners seem to know how to run bars, but food doesn't appear to be their long suit.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I am sure being on the wrong side of Davis Square did not help their cause.

      1. re: ponyboy

        this is where the failed sauce use to be, right?

        1. re: birdy30

          Wow, that was quick. I was just there last week for a drink. The place is humongous and it was empty on a Thursday night. One two-top of diners, another hound at the bar (coincidence!) and me and my date. Didn't try the food but they didn't make a very good gimlet, so I wouldn't say they even know how to run bars.

          1. re: yumyum

            In fact, 400 Highland had the exact same ownership and operations people as Sauce, they just gave the place a new name, new menu, and a slight makeover. Probably better to say they know how to run pubs for a beer-drinking college crowd (they run the Joshua Tree around the corner); the serious-cocktail making I experienced in the Sauce era was pretty shabby.

    2. I am just surprised they didn't wait until the students came back after the summer break.

      It was a nice place to watch a football/baseball game.

      1. It is interesting to look back at old boards... though this was just months ago...

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        The comment I like was:

        "Cal-Med? Give me a break.

        1. The food isn't Cal. Not even close. There might be a few ingred. but in general it is a far reaching, broad menu that will satify the older Joshua Tree crowd, student "first date" option, or the "I'll try it once and hope it is good Porter, Cambridge, Medford, Arlington, Somerville residences."

        2. 400 Highland? That is really Californian

        3. Have you been to their website? It is a wonderful old picture of Davis Square. Again, not very parallel with the whole California-Med theme food."

        4 Replies
        1. re: Seconds Please

          Excellent points in that old review...

          Makes me think that new ventures should "hire" a few of us chowhounds to sniff out their new concept to see if it passes muster. I am willing to bet many of us would jump at that chance!

          To 400 Highland's credit, that stretch of Highland is a wasteland - have you seen the stores that scrape by there?

          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            I like the Magpie store. it is cute and I buy cool local crafts there.

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              I agree. It's odd that Elm can support restaurants out to Rosebud and even beyond to O'Naturals, while Highland dies quickly after the Bank of America, even with a big drug store further on drawing traffic.

              Before we tasted the food (once during the Sauce era), we were hoping that a successful place on the corner could attract others to the block. Hopefully something (or things) really good will move in there, even if it's not food related. Seriously, how many storefront insurance agencies do you need in Davis?

              1. re: DavisSquare

                yeah- i've often wondered how those little shops along highland stay in business. how many folks are using that travel agency, the one that has all the crappy, kitschy stuff in the windows? and the watch/jewelry shop? i admit, i've had a watch sized there, but they can't be sustained by that kind of business.

                i had a drink and an appetizer (can't remember which, though) at 400 highland, and i was impressed by the look of the place, and the fact that they had a decent beer list, so i'm a little surprised that it didn't last. but, honestly, it's just not the type of place that davis needs. one might think that a fancy restaurant/lounge would be needed, but it's not. gargoyle's is enough, i think. davis folk (i still consider myself one, even though i've since moved..) like things unpretentious!

          2. I actually enjoy a few wraps at blue shirt cafe. There are a few on the menu that are great and a few that are not. But I know what to get so it is good for a quick bite.

            1 Reply
            1. re: David_A

              I like the breakfast sandwiches to go on Iggy's everything bagel at Blue Shirt too. The italian country vegetarian sandwich is very good as well. Haven't ever tried the wraps.

            2. As I said here, http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
              they needed both better bartending and better food to be able to pull it off.