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What is the statute of limitations before a restaurant visit is outdated

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This came up after talking with a fellow ChowHounder. In a recent thread, people were giving opinions on a restaurant when they hadn't been there in over five years, and in the meantime, the restaurant actually changed its name. I just this minute saw someone commenting on a place that they hadn't been to in EIGHT years. Given the ebb and flow of the restaurant business, that seems like an eternity.
I'm just trying to see if there's any type of consensus on how recent a visit needs to be in order to still remain valid.


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  1. I think a year give or take...unless change in head chef

    1. I know exactly what you mean. I just saw a message where the poster hadn't been to a restaurant since it first opened about fourteen years ago. S/he encouraged people to go!

      My own rule of thumb is two years. So much can happen to make a recommendation or review obsolete that even two years can be too long.

      I also tend to avoid restaurants where the posted reviews are all 5+ years (unless of course I have some positive, recent recommendations from friends).

      1. I sometimes wonder about this as well. I think about 1 year is fair.

        1. my personal take is 6 months. maybe that's because i'm in phoenix and the whole city changes in the summer, with people leaving to escape the heat, etc.

          but if i comment on a place i hadn't been to in at least 6 months, i think its appropriate to mention it. but saying something regarding a place you hadn't been in 8 years? COME ON!!!

          1. I think I'm one of the offenders from the thread mentioned in Firenza's post, and in that same conversation winedubar made a helpful comment about the length of time since the name and location change for the restaurant. In fact, in the thread in question, there were really two separate restaurants involved; they just happened to have the same chef / owner at different points in his career.

            In any case, I don't think there should be a statute of limitations; sometimes old information is better than none at all. Nevertheless, there should be disclosure when experiences noted in postings are not recent. In the thread in question, my disclosure was not sufficient -- not due to an intent to deceive, but because I had simply lost track of how many years had passed. Winedubar firmly but politely out pointed the staleness of my impressions, and the thread became more balanced as a result. In other words, the system worked as it should. Now I just have to get myself over to the current restaurant sometime so that I can post based on up-to-date information.