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Very disappointed to find out Bistro 55 in Rochelle Park is closing

yogi70 Jun 17, 2013 08:27 AM

I really enjoyed this place. Please don't turn into another new age burger joint (we have like 10 in the area now) or worse, a bank. Bistro was a great place to go when were indecisive on what cuisine we were feeling. Always good food and a nice beer selection. Im bummed.


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  1. boozyburbs RE: yogi70 Jun 17, 2013 10:28 AM

    Thanks for sharing, but sorry you're disappointed.

    1. Curlz RE: yogi70 Jun 17, 2013 12:17 PM

      Agreed--on all counts

      1. e
        ebchower RE: yogi70 Jun 17, 2013 04:36 PM

        Is that the former site of South City grill?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ebchower
          Curlz RE: ebchower Jun 17, 2013 06:30 PM


        2. e
          ELA RE: yogi70 Jun 18, 2013 08:01 AM

          Certainly had it's day, back in the days of South City Grill. I enjoyed SCG and have been to all of their locations. I've been to Bistro 55 many times and of course it wasn't as popular as SCG, but they seemed to do "okay" for the most part. It never seemed to be "crowded" but they often had a nice happy hour/bar crowd, and a good dinner crowd.

          So what locations do they have left?

          1. f
            fourunder RE: yogi70 Jun 18, 2013 08:14 PM

            I recall when the Bistro 55 was first announced as being sold to the new, or current owners....they intended to revamp the entire restaurant within a year. They had an agreement with one of the notable chefs in the area, who also is a member of this site, to consult on the transformation. After a short stint, she dropped out and Bistro 55 languished until this recent development.

            Maybe the new owner if finally going through with his plans to open a new restaurant.....or he got smart and sold the property to others..

            1. brandywiner RE: yogi70 Jun 23, 2013 09:21 PM

              That's a shame. I was working up that way for over a year, and always felt very welcome there. But when the much-ballyhooed renovations never happened, I wondered if there were issues.

              1. Curlz RE: yogi70 Jun 27, 2013 05:49 PM

                Had dinner there this week and our waiter said goodnight and that he hopes to see us in mid-August when they reopen... He said they're doing renovations to the kitchen and will take out booths and add more of the tall communal tables. We'll see...!

                13 Replies
                1. re: Curlz
                  yogi70 RE: Curlz Jun 27, 2013 06:39 PM

                  ??? so they aren't closing, just renovating ???

                  1. re: yogi70
                    Curlz RE: yogi70 Jun 28, 2013 11:28 AM

                    That's what he said... We'll see

                    1. re: Curlz
                      yogi70 RE: Curlz Jun 29, 2013 11:57 AM

                      got a dinner res here tonight. I'll see if I get some answers

                      1. re: yogi70
                        yogi70 RE: yogi70 Jun 30, 2013 08:12 AM

                        Apparently they aren't renovating, but closing its doors for good per the bartender and our waitress? if so, very sad. Food was very good as usual, albeit on a scaled down menu. 45% off on both bar tab and dinner bill which was very nice. Also was offered glassware from the bar upon leaving. Should have grabbed a few rocks glasses but declined politely. Hope the staff was given an adequate "heads up" so that they all can find work elsewhere. Hoping another good place opens here.

                        1. re: yogi70
                          ELA RE: yogi70 Jun 30, 2013 10:50 AM

                          Place has a nice history. Used to be a "hot spot" as SCG.

                          Perhaps the place was "sold"?

                          Are there any restaurants left from this group?

                          1. re: ELA
                            fourunder RE: ELA Jun 30, 2013 11:15 AM

                            OBRG/SCGRG sold off this property roughly a year ago, if not mistaken. Their Bentlee's concept got very bad chatter about abusive management and closed. I believe their Fire & Oak concepts in hotels are still on life support. I would surmise South City in general has ceased operating as a company, unless they need to sell their liquor license for any property.

                            1. re: fourunder
                              ELA RE: fourunder Jun 30, 2013 11:39 AM

                              Got it...thanks. Bentlee's just didn't seem to catch on, do well, etc. The few times I had been there is was kind of dead. Big place, few people, only a matter of time. I was unaware of the abusive management issues. I don't know who was there, in-charge, etc.

                              Early on, when the Rt. 17 location was SCG -- whenever I went, management/ownership had a presence and from my exposure they were friendly (to customers), were hands-on, did a good job, etc. Same thing with the times I was at the Mountain Lakes local of SCG -- same management/ownership people, they were there, hands-on, etc. I know they opened a place or two, tried a new theme, etc.

                              I am not familiar with the Fire & Oak locations -- as I've only been to the Montvale location. I thought there was another one, but I am not sure. After the SCG's closed (Rt. 17, Jersey City, Mountain Lakes) I didn't follow them as much.

                              1. re: ELA
                                fourunder RE: ELA Jun 30, 2013 11:50 AM


                              2. re: fourunder
                                ELA RE: fourunder Jun 30, 2013 04:48 PM

                                Also, I wasn't aware they sold the property. Perhaps you are correct about their status.

                                1. re: ELA
                                  fourunder RE: ELA Jul 1, 2013 09:04 AM


                                  1. re: fourunder
                                    Curlz RE: fourunder Jul 1, 2013 09:54 AM

                                    That was the plan i may of last year...we already know that Chef Nunn isn't in the mix any more, so let's see if any updates come out. My guess is the folks at the Bergen record get plenty of info from us...

                                    1. re: Curlz
                                      fourunder RE: Curlz Jul 1, 2013 09:55 AM

                                      I suspect, only the bad news.....I believe the Record did announce the plans for closure and discount for the final week.

                                    2. re: fourunder
                                      ELA RE: fourunder Jul 1, 2013 11:42 AM

                                      Well, I hope the new owner/place does well. The gastropub concept is a popular one. There aren't that many around, and depending on the menu/food, the place itself, ambiance, etc., it could attract people for that as opposed to the beer selections/offering.

                                      I don't know the details, but I am sure it's an expensive piece of real estate, high costs, etc. Like I said, I hope he does well.

                    2. n
                      NJfoodLover RE: yogi70 Jun 28, 2013 09:06 AM

                      I loved this place when it was South City Grill, not only was the food good but the atmosphere was great. There were always people hanging out in the bar area which was nice if you wanted a drink before or after dinner.
                      I liked Bistro 55 but it never appealed to me the way South City did.
                      I wonder what it will be like after the renovations.

                      1. Curlz RE: yogi70 Jun 30, 2013 03:32 PM

                        Yeah, I think it's telling that the first to arrive for our res the other night was told by the woman who seated him "I don't know...we were just told to find other jobs" when he asked why they were closing, but then our waiter was truly adamant that they weren't, but were doing a renovation. I even asked him if it was being done by the same owner and he said yes. As I've said upthread, we'll see... but if they're offering their glassware (darn--always liked their rocks glasses--wish I'd known!) that sure sounds to me like going OUT of business.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Curlz
                          ELA RE: Curlz Jun 30, 2013 04:47 PM

                          While employees can be very piped in to owners/ownership, in a case like this -- given the circumstances, history, etc. -- I would take anything I heard with a grain of salt.

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