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Oct 7, 2008 07:43 AM

Backals.... No More

It brings me tears of joy and sadness (mostly because thats one less spot to eat nearby) to bring the news that it appears Backal's in Scarsdale has closed up shop. Much like the website... the restaurant is eerily dark.

I cant say i'm not surprised since the writing has been on the wall for some time (The space is cursed, the seats were clear plastic, food unimaginative, and the desperate move to give rewards on open table for Saturday reservations). One can only hope that the next food venture will be one that will stop people in the area from having to decide over Chinese food, pizza, or diner.

Bring Back Charlie Browns I say.....

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  1. Aw, too bad.

    It's a nice spot for Sunset Grill!!! Hurry back, Sunset Grill.

    1. that does seem to be a cursed spot. It's a shame because it's a great building and has lots of parking

      1. I grew up right near the Backal's site, and I can't tell you how many restaurants have come and gone over the years, very few staying any period of time. That space really is cursed, but it doesn't help that most of the restaurants that have been there have been pretty bad.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Shawn

          actually, heathcote tavern did very well there. They sold the biz and the property b/c it was a great offer for them. The space is grand and also proported to be haunted. Perhaps the ghosties have pushed the less desirable buisnesses away.
          I grew up right around the corner in heathcote and loved going to Charlie browns. A great salad bar from what I remember.

          1. re: momof3

            We must have been neighbors growing up, momof3. Were you there as far back as when it was the Piedmont Inn? I know, that really dates me.

            1. re: Shawn

              piedmont inn- was that the one that the bar was upstairs and I" hung out" as a single?
              Post Milky Way days.

              1. re: yeshana

                I don't know-- I was too young to go to the bar at the Piedmont Inn (it was around in the 60's, maybe into the 70's), but the big rumor back then was that it was a brothel. Somehow I doubt there was a brothel in Scarsdale, but as kids we found the rumors very titillating.

              2. re: Shawn

                my family moved to Scarsdale in 1980 when I was 9 so I do remember the piedmont inn as somewhere the teachers went for lunch. The ghost/brothel stories lend flavor to the history and legend of the building which I love. I was never there but I heard from reliable sources that bacals continued that tradition of married locals being naughty at the bar. I would love to see another restaurant take it's place and not have it turn into offices or condos or something.

          2. I guess these days, with the economy in the slumps, only the strong can survive, if at best. I just hope things turn the corner before we lose more choices for eating out in town. We were recently at Piave, not the greatest, but a pretty good restaurant by our standards, on a Friday night and it was dead. Sad, if this is where our restaurants are heading...

            10 Replies
            1. re: RawTunaFan

              It will be interesting to see if restaurants in Westchester lower prices to accommodate the public which is tightening their belt.

              Not so much nickel and diming, perhaps?

              1. re: dolores

                What is the problem with the corners? Even the crowd pleasing Ben and Jerry's closed. The deli has re-made itself into a sort of cafe and some locals catch snacks across the street in the pricey Balducci's. Other than that I agree that a Charlie Brown type place might be welcome.I guess the teachers at Heathcote School are brown bagging these days!

                1. re: lucyis

                  Another location that never seems to keep a restaurant...The spot by Lord and Taylors in Eastchester. It was recently Valbellas Steak and is now an Italian restaurant, It seems to change owners every year or less.

                  1. re: kaaaassss

                    There are a lot of changes going on right now so it is hard to keep up...Valbella Steakhouse has morphed into Tutta Bella...same owners, new more reasonably priced menu...

              2. re: RawTunaFan

                I am just going to throw this out there... Based on a previous post i wrote regarding Open Table and the restaurants that seem to offer bonus points if you make a reservation on a certain time and date (Backal's was the first causality of this) I was curious if the 3 other "upscale" restaurants Morgan's Fish in Rye One in Irvington and The Sterling Inn in New Ro may not be to far behind. Does anyone else see these establishments as in trouble?

                1. re: FoodE4Thought

                  Sterling Inn was another restaurant that was mentioned in the recent Times article about restaurants feeling the pinch. And how they adjusted their menu more toward lower priced comfort food. Like a $17 short rib burger. I have never eaten there, but have looked at the menu online and it didn't appeal to me. Has anyone been there?

                  1. re: Shawn

                    just went last week and I had the expensive and HUGE short rib burger. It was amazing and worth evey cent. Never had anything like it WOW. though 2 people could probably share it. Sterling is an excellent cook, I hope he make it there, he tries hard. The place is difficult to make a go of, several other places have folded through the years in that location. Anyway, get there soon adn try that burger.

                  2. re: FoodE4Thought

                    Restaurants are feeling varying degrees of stress right now, as are customers...
                    Backals was simply not doing enough business to justify operating at such a high expense...The Sterling Inn, as hard as they have been trying, have had the onus of their location to add to their difficulties (and they do some good work; the toned down menu is an effort to increase traffic and you will see much more of this around the county in coming weeks)...and word is that Morgans Fish House is for sale. One in Irvington, though a fine restaurant, is experiencing fall out from both the exit of their opening chef not long ago and their high end pricing.
                    In short, it ain't pretty out there right now...

                    1. re: gutreactions

                      Surprised if there is a problem with Morgan's.We had dinner there recently--it was packed and dinner was excellent. Not cheap, but not outrageously priced.

                      1. re: gutreactions

                        Just curious, gutreactions, but where did you hear Morgans Fish HOuse was for sale?

                  3. Funny you say bring back Charlie Brown's! Well before that it was a wonderful restaurant that was related to Jonathan Seagulls in Mamaroneck (which is now Charlie Brown's). Place was gorgeous and the food was good.