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Mar 29, 2012 08:09 PM

Caribe Closing

Another light rail victim, closing April 15.

I'm crushed.

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    1. re: St3ve

      So why isn't Ngon, or several other University Avenue restaurants, going out of business? I'll agree with you that the location stinks, but I think there's more to it than just light rail. Several other restaurants (with better food, sorry my opinion) haven't been able to make that place go. Light rail is just an easy scape goat.

      When Mai Village closes, I'll bet they blame it on Light Rail too. Despite the fact there's ample evidence to the contrary.

      1. re: Db Cooper

        Agree with Db - that location is pretty lousy, with or without construction. It's a volatile industry, and location is important. I'm sure others will use the light tail as the scapegoat, but there are many compounding factors involved, the light rail only being one of them.

        Besides, Caribe opened well after they knew the light rail and subsequent construction were coming.

        1. re: mull0263

          As the world turns, this location is so far off the beaten path that the only thing to save it might be a light rail station. The economics of a 40 seat restaurant are such that the owner must live within the four walls during all hours of operation because the gross sales do not support a professional salaried management team. Good restaurants of any size are definitely a lifestyle, but small ones leave owners in a precarious position. Location is always a significant factor. I hope Ngon and other business impacted by the light rail construction have deep pockets and cooperative landlords, because the rail system will bring a new day. That said, I am very hopeful that crossing University for both cars and cyclists will be easier than Hiawatha. The timing of lights and trains along this corridor is tragically unfriendly at times. There's a reason that subways and elevated rails have come to predominate in urban landscapes. Good luck with the kickstart financing. You made a very pretty restaurant out of the plain brown wrapper that preceded it.

    2. Supporting much of what's been written, light rail isn't the biggest culprit here. Key's and Cafe Biaggio are doing just fine. And that spot has turned over a number of places going back to whatever was there before Chet's Taverna. On top of everything else, the food was only okay. I always left wanting greater depth of flavor.

      Has construction started outside Ngon yet?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        Yes, construction is underway outside Ngon. Right now the construction is on the south side, traffic on the north side, so it is still relatively easy to get to. Everyone visit! I live in the neighborhood and am trying to put my money where my mouth is, making regular visits to the restaurants I want to see stick around. Homi and Que Nha are also on my list.

        1. re: KristinT013

          Good pt Kristin. I am making a point to visit my favorite Univ. Ave places during construction. A little inconvenience will certainly deter many from going that way, and that unfortunately may be enough to push even some of the better places over the edge.

          1. re: KristinT013

            I'd add Flamingo (East African) to this list too.


          That is their new deal. Looks like they are going to go in the old Amici spot in NE.

          1. They are closing but like a few other users mentioned they are reopening in the very ethinically diverse area of NE/Columbia Heights. They have started a kickstarter campaign to help raise some funds for the new site. Here is the page link if anyone is interested in donating. They are offering some really nice perks for dontations too.

            I cannot comment on wether or not the lightrail is fully to blame but I only heard about Caribe recently. There aren't a lot of carribean places in the cities and i love carribean food so thier closing combined with the great reviews this place has makes me eager to donate and visit the new site.