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Alison at Blue Bell has closed.

Another sign of the times?

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  1. Maybe, but her second location has been getting a lot of positive buzz and hopefully doing well. Running two restaurants and maintaining quality is hard so there could be many factors at work. A2 isn't even that far from the original.

    1. I would say it is a sign of the times.. it is hard to get small business credit at this time... and going to get worse (witness Advanta filing for bankruptcy. I hope that things will continue to improve at Alison two... it has a great location, and such promise to be an outstanding restaurant. I think the mixture of the value of their bar menu, along with well prepared foods you can get in the main dining room make A2 a worth destination. Not to mention where else can you get a real dark and stormy in the burbs?

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      Alison two
      424 S. Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA 19034

      1. I saw it on the website. I would not want to be an owner of any higher end restaurant for the next couple of years.

        1. Just read in the Inquirer that in addition to closing Alison at Blue Bell that Alison 2 declared bankruptcy as well.

          21 Replies
          1. re: Den

            I really hope she is able to survive at Alison 2.

            1. re: crazyspice

              Given the dearth of quality high-end restaurants in our area, we foodies have an obligation to be supportive patrons. Otherwise there will be no more Alisons.

              1. re: Karen K

                We have an obligation to be supportive patrons? What exactly does that mean?

                1. re: mitchh

                  If you like the place, go there; and talk it up to like-minded friends.

                  1. re: Karen K

                    So you are saying that it's my job to do a restaurant's marketing (has she done any?)?

                    As for "going there", don't we all go to the places that we enjoy?

                    As for "talking it up", again, not my job. If someone asks me for a recommendation or where I went for dinner the other night I'm happy to tell them about it. However I'm not going to be a cheerleader for any restaurant and just start a conversation at the water cooler of what a great place XYZ restaurant is.

                  2. re: mitchh

                    Perhaps a better way to phrase the statement might be, its in you the diner's best interest to spread the word about a restaurant if you want to be able to keep going to it... the best advertising is word of mouth. Otherwise good restaurants can wither on the vine and die.

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                    Alison two
                    424 S. Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA 19034

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        While I agree with you that the best advertising is word of mouth, I will disagree with you that without word of mouth good restaurants can wither on the vine and die. While this "may" be the case for a new restaurant, an established good restaurant can survive on its reputation rather than word of mouth.

                        In Alison's case, perhaps she simply bit off more than she could chew with a significantly larger restaurant (that was a money pit of a rehab project) within 5 minutes of her other location? IMO if it ain't broke don't fix it and while I wasn't a fan of Alison's establishment, she clearly had a small following that could keep a small restaurant afloat. Why she would drastically increase the scale of her eatery is beyond me, not to mention taking business away from herself.

                        1. re: mitchh

                          This is sort of like the David Ansill story with Pif/Ansill. Hopefully A2 makes it through.

                          Based on many posts on this board, it seems like it is really hard to keep a chef-driven place going in the burbs. I wonder why?

                          1. re: barryg

                            Alison closing isn't the first and won't be the last. People just aren't spending money and things are only going to get worse. I have never known a time where so many people are concerned of their job status.

                            1. re: barryg

                              Barry,

                              What places are you referring to? Off the top of my head, Coleman has been in business for quite some time and Georges Perrier's place in Wayne seems to do well. I know that's only 2 places, but I really can't think of any chef-driven places in the burbs that have closed its doors.

                              In Alison's case, she had a very successful restaurant in Blue Bell and it wasn't until she opened up a second restaurant that Alison closed.

                              I'm not sure if I share the same pessimistic opinion as tumbler's. While the economy is not doing well I still see plenty of restaurants being very busy. If anything, the poor economy will weed out the not so good ones, while the good ones will remain in business.

                              1. re: mitchh

                                I hope you are right about the bad ones being weeded out mitchh. In an ideal world that would happen. /keeps fingers crossed.

                            2. re: mitchh

                              "an established good restaurant can survive on its reputation rather than word of mouth."

                              What? A place gets its reputation, good or bad, by word of mouth.

                              1. re: Den

                                Den,

                                What you say is true to a degree. However, after time, it's not necessarily what somone you know says, but what you have heard "in general" of a restaurant. Have you never gone to a restaurant that you "heard was good" yet didn't know a single person that first hand had been there? That's having a reputation, not specific "word of mouth".

                                The first time I went to Morimoto I didn't know anyone that had personally been there. It was the reputation of Morimoto that drove me there. Over time good restaurants develop reputations. IMO that's not the same as word of mouth.

                                BTW, anyone else getting annoyed with the fact that if you type in the name of a restaurant that a link automatically appears?

                                -----
                                Morimoto Restaurant
                                723 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA

                                1. re: mitchh

                                  Regarding the link; Yes! If I like a restaurant and someone asks me for a rec, I will give one. But my dilemma is, everyone has a different idea of what is a good or great meal at any restaurant. Just read chowhound. :-)

                    1. re: Den

                      I was just at Alison at Blue Bell, to try to get an application to work there. On the door was a paper that read something along the lines of "To the tenant, we have changed the locks on the door to ensure a secure premises. If you have any questions, please call -so and so number-."

                      Either Alison didn't pay the bills, she did go bankrupt, or theft occurred, there is nothing left in the restaurant...all the tables are gone, along with paintings and various other things.

                      Kinda sad...I enjoyed the place a lot.

                      What about the Blue Horse? That place bit the dust as well, but now there is a new place called Domenico's. I just gave them my resume so maybe I can work there.

                        1. re: IllPastries

                          What about Allison Two? It's still open.

                          1. re: barryg

                            Yes it is. Well it was a few weeks ago. We went to show support and had fabulous food! Service remains spotty in my opinion.

                            1. re: crazyspice

                              Yes they are open. Talked to them today. Was kind of bummed they weren't open for lunch tomorrow. I have celebrated new years eve in the past at her restaurants and they do a great job.

                        2. re: Den

                          Any restauranteur that tells you that you have to leave when you are in the middle of dessert because the next party is there, deserves bankruptcy and everything else it gets....because it's no way to run a restaurant.

                        3. Alison Two in Fort Washington is now also closed:
                          http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/th...