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

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.

http://www.boozyburbs.com/2013/06/17/...

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  1. Thanks for sharing, but sorry you're disappointed.

    1. Agreed--on all counts

      1. Is that the former site of South City grill?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ebchower

          Yes

        2. 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. 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. 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. 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

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

                  1. re: yogi70

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

                    1. re: Curlz

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

                      1. re: yogi70

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/722155

                              2. re: fourunder

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

                                1. re: ELA

                                  http://blog.northjersey.com/secondhel...

                                  1. re: fourunder

                                    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

                                      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

                                      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. 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. 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

                          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.