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prentice closes two more (s.e. michigan)

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xman887 Dec 29, 2010 09:55 AM

i just read that matt prentice has already closed tavern on 13 and will close shiraz in a couple of days. that leaves coach insignia (i wonder how they are doing, particularly since club corp. just pulled the plug on the ren cen club), northern lakes, novi chophouse, and four deli's.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/...

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  1. r
    RedTop RE: xman887 Dec 29, 2010 02:40 PM

    I'm pretty sure Michigan hasn't emerged from its demi-Depression--despite the shopping onslaught just before Christmas. So, this is sad news.

    1. rainsux RE: xman887 Dec 29, 2010 02:40 PM

      Shiraz? Yikes. This is gonna PO my bride. If they shutter Coach Insignia, she's gonna be
      very, very unhappy.

      -----
      Coach Insignia
      Renaissance Center 72nd Floor, Detroit, MI 48243

      1. j
        Jack Freeman RE: xman887 Dec 29, 2010 07:51 PM

        I honestly am not the least bit surprised that Tavern on 13 closed. We have given it several tries since "Flying Fish" days and have each time (7 times to be exact) been disappointed in the entire experience. We used to love the place and ate there at least once a week and then something went wrong...not sure what but it got to be very inconsistent. It was not uncommon in the good days that you would see Matt Prentice there frequently then,as the restaurant began to fail, we never saw him anymore. The fantastic wait staff we loved disappeared too. It makes me sad to know it's gone, I feel liked we lost a part of our history. My wife and I had our rehersal dinner there and we shared very special moments at Flying Fish. So sad!

        7 Replies
        1. re: Jack Freeman
          coney with everything RE: Jack Freeman Dec 30, 2010 04:16 AM

          wow, Tavern on 13 is always sending out coupons and frequently posted help wanted ads on Craigslist (my kid is looking for a dishwasher/busser job and had applied).

          Some restaurants continue to do well even in these bad times...Tavern on 13 is in a great location, it seems like it could do well with good management.

          1. re: coney with everything
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            xman887 RE: coney with everything Dec 30, 2010 07:22 AM

            some places around town do appear to be doing well. maybe it is the fact that many people are off between the holidays, but my wife and i have been out twice this week and noticed crowds. two nights ago (tuesday) we went to bastone in royal oak at 7:30pm and there was a 20 minute wait for tables.

            we stopped at black lotus in clawson for beers at 10:00 and it was standing room only. didn't eat, but noticed the menu has expanded http://blacklotusbrewery.com/cms/wp-c...

            also, pretty cool addition they put on next door - "drive -in" - three golf simulators for open play and leagues. http://www.thedriveinclawson.com/

            last night (wed) we went to the new penny black in rochester at 7:00pm and there was a 30 minute wait.

            1. re: xman887
              coney with everything RE: xman887 Dec 31, 2010 02:59 AM

              ooohh, thanks for the heads-up about the DriveIn, xman...I'm going to clue in my DH as he misses his golf in the winter.

          2. re: Jack Freeman
            b
            boagman RE: Jack Freeman Jan 1, 2011 12:00 PM

            Odd that you should say this. I would concur that Tavern was in a downward spiral for several years, and while the Michigan economy certainly didn't help, the downturn in quality and higher prices were certainly within their control. Though you didn't say it, Jack, another poster commented on the great location of this restaurant, and I couldn't disagree more: the area the restaurant was in may have been a good place for a restaurant, but the place was *really* hidden, and had almost zero streetside presence...if you didn't know it was there, you'd probably only discover it by sheer accident. Facing away from the main streets...not a good idea.

            Mr. Prentice offered me and my girlfriend a free meal there after a particularly lousy incident well over a year ago, and that incident was precursored by several lackluster visits before it. We never did end up taking them up on the free meal...what does *that* say?

            I'll miss the warm chicken salad, and maybe the bumpy cake. That's about it. It started out with such promise, too. Sad.

            1. re: boagman
              rainsux RE: boagman Jan 2, 2011 02:35 AM

              > the restaurant was in may have been a good place for a restaurant, but the place was
              > *really* hidden, and had almost zero streetside presence...if you didn't know it was there,
              > you'd probably only discover it by sheer accident. Facing away from the main streets...not
              > a good idea

              Kind'a like DJB's, eh? <g> For the record, I never had a bad meal or service at DJB's.
              I did have a few entrees that didn't 'wow' me, but there was nothing wrong with them.

              I cannot say the same for Tavern on 13.

              1. re: boagman
                coney with everything RE: boagman Jan 2, 2011 07:09 AM

                My comment about it being a good location was not about the street visibility, but that the neighborhood (at least to the north) is affluent enough to support a decent restaurant. If the experience was good enough, people would find it.

                1. re: coney with everything
                  j
                  Jack Freeman RE: coney with everything Jan 2, 2011 07:52 PM

                  I understood what you meant. Oddly enough that plaza is really pretty busy. In the days when the food was great the place was packed. I attribute the closure to pure lack of consistency, boring menu and poor service. The loss of any of the three is almost certain failure! It's particularly sad because at one point the place really was excellent. It seemed that once it went into a downward spiral it couldn't be saved!

            2. d
              donbui82 RE: xman887 Dec 30, 2010 11:46 PM

              its 'bout time. I wondered how they stayed open that long. Tavern and Shiraz were terrible.

              however, I will be sad if northern lakes doesn't make it.

              don

              1. jjspw RE: xman887 Jan 1, 2011 05:51 PM

                I think the Prentice restaurant group is going through some tough times. A few months ago, I remember he (Matt Prentice) created a Yelp account and wrote a bunch of shill reviews for his own restaurants. He also sent some plea-ful messages to people who'd written negative reviews for his restaurants, asking them to reconsider, giving excuses for bad food/service, offering freebies, etc.

                While I'd like to blame hard economic times for his restaurants' struggles, it's also important for Prentice to realize that there are some restaurants -- in metro Detroit, even! -- that are doing very well, despite the economic downturn.

                3 Replies
                1. re: jjspw
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                  luckytobeme RE: jjspw Jan 2, 2011 03:36 PM

                  i thought tavern was on an upward swing with the new menu ~~ and their new pizzas were really good~~ it has always been in an odd little corner , and never my favorite, but i have been going to that restaurant for many years and i am sad to see it go ~~
                  ~~ the sad fact here is that people march like zombies to chain restaurants and largely ignore almost everything else ~~ goodbye morels, golden mushroom, fiddleheads, and hello capital grill.....yuck and shame on us !!!!

                  1. re: luckytobeme
                    rainsux RE: luckytobeme Jan 3, 2011 03:15 AM

                    > ~~ the sad fact here is that people march like zombies to chain restaurants
                    > and largely ignore almost everything else ~~ goodbye morels, golden mushroom,
                    > fiddleheads, and hello capital grill.....yuck and shame on us !!!!

                    +1 (trying to not climb onto my soapbox)

                    1. re: rainsux
                      jjspw RE: rainsux Jan 3, 2011 03:41 AM

                      The thing about these massive chains...

                      It seems they've all gone steeply downhill recently. Perhaps I've just become a more discerning eater, but I swear Red Robin used to be decent enough for a burger with the in-laws several years ago, and that Applebee's was passable for a quick non-fast-food highway-exit lunch about 8 years ago. But now, it seems nothing but swill comes out of those kitchens. Have they actually slipped, or did my tastes change?

                      As for the more "upscale" or "fine dining" chains like Capital Grill -- I have never, ever set foot in one of these places. Why anyone would consider spending so much money on a meal they can get anywhere else in the country is just beyond me. It's like the tourists who go to Toronto and pay $25/plate for boring chicken breasts and steaks at Wayne Gretzky's restaurant, when they could otherwise be relishing in Sri Lankan, Hakka, Uyghur, or Guyanese cuisines.

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