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Aug 26, 2010 06:55 AM

Tosca in Durham Closed

This may be news to some and not news to others. Tosca in Durham has apparently closed down and the building has been bought by another person. It is set to reopen as 604 West or something of that nature. Anyone want to confirm or deny this?

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  1. Bull City Rising has been on this story
    Shorter: Tosca owners sold to Cinelli who are moving from their old location near WFM

    1 Reply
    1. re: gpatterson

      Folks at the Durham Magazine blog wrote a review of the new place several days ago:

    2. Never went to Tosca, and don't remember hearing much about it on the boards. Are we losing a gem I didn't know about?

      5 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom

        Never tried but after a couple visits to Blue Corn Cafe (owned by the same person) I didn't see much need in trying it.

        Blue Corn Cafe
        716 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

        1. re: LulusMom

          Tosca was a bit pricey, great interior and I felt the food was above-average Italian. But agreed that overall, people had mixed reviews on the place. Great space, but you paid for it...

          1. re: RonboNC

            Thanks to you both for your reviews. I don't know how this place never even made it to my radar screen.

            1. re: LulusMom

              I'll echo the earlier comments. The interior space is great. Original tobacco warehouse walls and whatnot. Its kinda hard to find this place because its tucked away in the West Village complex. The food was good but pretty expensive for what it was. I remember my wife once ordering the butternut squash ravioli, which was delicious, but the only thing on the plate was 5 or 6 credit card-sized ravioli with in a light sauce. I remember thinking that was kinda skimpy for the cost of the dish which was about $18.

              On a different note, we went there one weekday evening and found the dining room to be practically empty. When we requested a table for two, the host asked us if we had a reservation. That REALLY rubs me the wrong way.

              1. re: ToothTooth

                The menu looked great, the ambience inviting- it was the customer service that shredded stars off this restaurant. It was 2/3 full with pre-theater diners (Durham Perf Arts Center nearby with an 8pm perf). We arrived before our 6:15 reservation. Greeted well and seated, first courses brought. And then.... nothing. We peered at other tables - empty tabletops surrounded by people peering at everyone else's lack of food. It was 7:17 before we sought our waiter (disappeared) who told us "any minute... kitchen backed up." 5 minutes later my husband asked the hostess who said "I'm just the hostess I don't know anything." At 7:28, still hungry, with no extra bread brought, no check in from the waiter, no manager coming to offer us options that might be ready (soups, etc), we got up and approached the manager and the waiter together to say we were leaving. NO APOLOGY. They even tried to give us the check for 2 salads and 1 glass of wine. They then explained the chef had left early because he was sick. SO TELL US. Your restaurant is filled with people with theater tickets. We were ignored, lied to, no apology- worst customer service under pressure I've ever seen. All along the way, updates, offers to switch to less time-pressure entrees, would have made the difference in how we left feeling about the place.

        2. So I stopped by the space formerly known as Tosca. Apparently they had their soft opening about 2 weeks ago. I don't recall them mentioning what type of food they plan on serving or who owned the building. I don't think the Cinelli's franchise owned both parts. Checked Piazza Italia too. It wasn't a bad space, but I've never heard anything about them outside of knowing their existence.

          Italia Cafe
          139 S Clayton St, Lawrenceville, GA 30046

          1. I thought Tosca was overpriced and the owners were nasty. The really good news is that I live in West Village and have been to the new place..604 West 7 times in the last two weeks. The food is fantastic and the owner, Sean is a real gentleman. What we especially love is that they have two menus---one casual Italian and pizza and a second menu that is much more upscale. The Crabcakes, Tuscan Bean Soup and shortribs are dishes I have really loved. So thrilled to hava a really great restaurant in that spot.

            1. I'm confused by something on their website. It says something like "consistently popular since 1988." Huh? The website is also currently under construction. Is this just them being goofy, or what? Also, one thing I read said they don't have a liquor license yet, but the pictures on the website show people having wine and cocktails.

              I like wine and cocktails.

              3 Replies
              1. re: LulusMom

                When we spoke to them they said their menu was under construction (menu = website). I'll give them 1/2 a year to be fair and see what happens after more people have been and they have their grand opening.

                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  But what is up with the "popular since 1988" business?

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    Probably the same thing as Blue Corn stating it's "The Oldest Locally Owned Restaurant On 9th Street".

                    Blue Corn Cafe
                    716 9th St, Durham, NC 27705