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Nov 10, 2008 09:37 AM

Belltown Blues

Belltown has seen Mistral, Cascadia, Marjorie and Lampreia close in 2008. Why is it that Belltown is having trouble hanging onto top-flight destinations? Veil over in Queen Anne has closed, too, but it seems like Belltown has seen an especially high number of closings recently, and new places aren't sprouting up to take the places of the departed.

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  1. seems like the places that are succeeding are more about creating a happening vibe, emphasis on drinks/noshing/comfort food

    1. Those restaurants' time had come and gone. They were all coasting or otherwise problematic, and in the end, all too expensive for what you got.

      That said, I think it's got a lot to do with turnover and margins. Drinks are high-margin.

      1. lampreia closed? really ... ?

        1. sounds like scott's moving lampreia

          owning your space is so much smarter esp w/ the tightened credit market.

          1. Inconsistent food and amateur service---the bane of any restaurant. People like to criticize Tom Douglas, but how many of his restaurants have closed? None. Why? He focuses on consistency and good service. The same with Matt's at the Market, Harvest Vine, Maximillien's, etc. Restaurants become long-lived "institutions" by achieving this balance. And sites like "Yelp" only focus on trendy restaurants reviewed by people one half step away from the Olive Garden crowd. Long live Chowhound and the restaurants we support.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Leper

              I don't think Marjorie fits into that category. IMO the food was very good (and consistent) and the service was never amateur. Quite the opposite.

              1. re: Lauren

                I LOVED Marjorie. So sad to see it go!!

              2. re: Leper

                Well... gesh... that was a Yelp dig... it is your opinion... but I disagree. People review and comment on any restaurant they want just like Chow. There is a variety of people from all sociocultural levels and backgrounds making the reviews- just like on Chow. Also, Yelp does not focus on restaurants- it's focus is on the establishments, shops, restaurants, and events that are happening in the city. It is not like Citysearch were promotions are extremely visible and the list or suggestions by the editors is dumbed down to reach the broadest audience. Also, the talk threads on Yelp are about whatever gets asked or brought to attention- just like on Chow. I find it helpful to read the reviews posted on a restaurant before I go- use the knowledge I gleaned or believed- and then judge for myself. Just my thoughts...