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Another Hartford Restaurant Closing

s
sodagirl Mar 25, 2008 12:52 PM

Is Blue Turtle Next?

  1. w
    Waquoit Apr 22, 2008 02:23 PM

    Blue Turtle just closed yesterday (4/20/08).

    1. r
      rrdrums Apr 2, 2008 03:23 PM

      I hear Coaches in Downtown Hartford is next - or at least changing to a different place.

      7 Replies
      1. re: rrdrums
        j
        Jestner Apr 2, 2008 07:56 PM

        Yes - you are correct - Coaches sold out. There was an article in the Hartford Courant about a week or so ago if I recall right.

        And you all may know - but Joe Black's is now out of business.

        1. re: Jestner
          s
          sodagirl Apr 2, 2008 09:01 PM

          Joe Blacks...in all reality was a very dumb idea..huge space...people like to be in a place where action is...it;s the reason why Disney World builds those little winding streets...all cozy and cute. What is it with people who think the restiarnmat business is all about big being better...

          Blue Back Square and Evergreen are better ideas...people like to be near people. These concepts are all over the place in other parts of the country....Rodeo drive in LA has a winding hilly road...Provincetown, Little Italy in Philadelphia..you can barely get a car through some of the streets, New Orleans, North End in Boston, Toronto...

          The only way Joe Black would ever get that way was to put half of hartford in there...and it is just not a city with a population that could do that.

          The big guys do alot of analysis to see if something will work which is why the retail down near the convention center will NEVER be built...it is already a lost cause and the museum will not fix it...school kids don't go out at night and they don;t spend money,

          I expect the place at the old Linden is on life support as well...but the amount of money it talkes to have a margin in the restaurant business means you have to cover all your costs every night and Joe Black had a huge staff, a huge overhead...and in all frankness...OK food...and the food had better be something you crave to go back for and right now there isn;t a business in Hartford that meets that critreria.

          take a look at all the new restaurants in the suberbs...they all have the same appetizers, salads and entrees...

          The life span is getting short...and in this economy the stockholders are not going to show any patience.

          and regarding Panera...I ate there last week...I am trying really hard to say nice things but...rushed..and slapped together food...and in the end...itls really all about frozen proof and bake.

          1. re: sodagirl
            zitronenmadchen Apr 6, 2008 11:07 AM

            I agree about Panera. I was so excited as I tore into my baguette, it had a crispy crust which hury my hands as I tore it apart, it had the authentic, caramelized bottom without the tell tale rack marks, and as I bit into it I thought that I had found a baguette that could at least come a distant second to the bread I've been craving since I left France. Sadly the overwhelming aftertaste and sense of thirst from the horrifying high salt content ruined the baguette that cost me $2.39(!)

            1. re: zitronenmadchen
              j
              Jestner Apr 6, 2008 12:39 PM

              I have to say I am sorta confused. Are people talking about the same Panera as I think? The higher-end-Subway-type chain place?

          2. re: Jestner
            f
            FoodieJim Apr 6, 2008 08:51 PM

            Joe Black's was a preposterous concept. They put huge bucks into a high-end design, and then tried to serve pub grub. The space was/is more deserving of a four star dining establishment. I suspect that now that the space has been built out by the former owner, anyone who wants to convert it to a Max competitor might do very well by reaping the benefits of the capital expenditure of the previous regime without incurring the stifling debt. I have no idea how JB's expected to recoup its investment selling meat loaf and shepard's pie.

            1. re: FoodieJim
              j
              JayCT Apr 8, 2008 07:09 AM

              The Courant had an article today on the space and Max is looking at it. Rosenthal said they intially looked at but the renovation costs were too high. Now that the renovation is completed it wouldn't cost as much to bring in a first-class restaurant. I just hope somehting goes in there soon. It is too beautiful to just sit and rot. Jay

              1. re: JayCT
                s
                sodagirl Apr 10, 2008 11:18 AM

                It is a beautiful space...I just wonder if hartford can draw enough on any given night to fill it.

                Rich R is a smart guy and I have known him casually for years...but whenever I see him...he always greets me by name and spends a few minutes with me...

                Regarding costs...I saw that the new owners fo Coaches paid 200k for the space and equipment...and plan o spending $750k on renovations...I just still don't see how the numbers work...

                I agree about buying after someoone closes...i was looking at a spot a few years ago that closed...in fact three previous places in the same location failed...but the plumbing and electrical work done to bring all three up to code would have costs tens of thousands of dollars if it was done from scratch...it is the results of so many people trying their hands in this business...and not suceedeing but the savey start up people see the opportunity.

        2. c
          chowmensch Apr 1, 2008 06:48 AM

          Another downtown Hartford restaurant bites the dust. Joe Black's is gone...

          2 Replies
          1. re: chowmensch
            a
            askeenan Apr 1, 2008 11:28 AM

            That is too bad! While I never dined there, I was able to go in and take a look around and it seemed so nice. I loved the atmosphere but unfortunately there were only 2 tables occupied.

            1. re: chowmensch
              v
              veronaraven Apr 10, 2008 11:28 AM

              Irish pub grub and pricey elegance is a mismatch. Sorry to offend...

              Same logic that will eventually kill West Wings...

            2. s
              shoes Mar 29, 2008 08:02 AM

              Never been to the Blue Turtle in Hartford, but I ended up at the one at the Conn. Post Mall in Milford once (long story) and the place was laughably awful. The food was trying to be upscale suburban with video games bleeping in a back room and loud sports on the TV and packs of teenagers all over the place. The waitress greeted us wtih a little speech about hiw tried she was, which made we want to say "Sorry to trouble you.. We'll leave now."

              1 Reply
              1. re: shoes
                e
                Earle Mar 31, 2008 04:57 AM

                To Sodagirl, your premonition about the Blue Turtle closing was right. I understand that yesterday was there last day in business. So another place closes at the mall and now Panera Bread is open.

              2. e
                Earle Mar 27, 2008 05:30 AM

                Wouldnt suprise me! Location, Location, Location, and that is what they dont have.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Earle
                  s
                  sodagirl Mar 28, 2008 12:37 PM

                  They don;t have the food, food, food either

                  1. re: sodagirl
                    e
                    Earle Mar 28, 2008 01:18 PM

                    I have to post another closing, Aqua, in Vernon has closed there doors. A nice up scale try. in a very unfriendly market. And I'm sure it wont be the last here in the Manchester Vernon area.

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