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Kits Happenings Part II (Jan 2014 onwards)

Thought I would start a new thread rather than adding to the 250+ posts on the previous thread:

Establishment Lounge space is now vacant and for lease.

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  1. The ill-considered Norton Commons on Broadway is kaput after only a short time.

    4 Replies
      1. re: brokentelephone

        It was a case of a nice, well intentioned individual who got in over her head concept and cash-flow wise. (a common story)
        At the end of the day she is the one who put in very long hours for little return and had to pull the plug before the plug pulled her.
        Unlike an underachieving restaurant that offers a less than positive experience there was little damage to those who patronized, just a mildly underwhelming presentation. No harm no foul.

        I've heard that the potential replacement tenant has backed away from the deal and as such the place is up for grabs.
        Nice spot... with a good few grand of work it could be Marche St. George cool.

        1. re: eatrustic

          Yah it's a good location and clearly able to sustain restaurants.

          If it were me, I'd start a place reselling Bennys bagels. Even at 50% price increase I'd still outsell Bennys, assuming everyone else is as frustrated by their 'capable' staff.

          1. re: brokentelephone

            The new Al Basha is Now Open in the 1900 block Cornwall St.


    1. It's barely Kits but Mochikas on Pine @ 5th burned last night looked pretty bad when I cycled by.


      1. The Shack @ 3189 W. Broadway looks to have been sold and morphed into some hipster's idea of a tacky Mexican restaurant-I mean it looks totally stupid, gross and insulting to Mexico and Mexican people.

        Maybe some intrepid soul here could TOFTT and (hopefully) prove me wrong.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Sam Salmon

          The Shack never reeled me in, but this doesn't sound like an improvement. Couldn't find anything online in a cursory search.

          Not quite Kits but close-ish, I noticed there is some kinda Guu going in near Oak and Broadway, upstairs on the south side. Any intel?

          1. re: Sam Salmon

            This "Mexican" place looks like it's said adios already. Walked by this afternoon and it looks empty.

          2. Two new places to scope out

            Something Garden Italian/Pizza place in the old Establishment Lounge space 3100 block Broadway.

            Ginger Garden Indian 3200 block Broadway north side.

            1. Cafe Regalade has signs advertising a [Cafe?] Linh opening in the space. Implies French-Vietnamese fusion to me.

              1. Milestones on 4th is gone and space for lease

                1. Italian Garden has now opened in the old Establishment Lounge space. Has anyone tried it out?


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: islandgirl

                    Went here a few nights ago. Had an excellent penne dish in a spicy tomato sauce with bacon. Wife had gnocchi and kids had spaghetti all in a delicious bolognese.

                    My only complaint is the wine pours are quite skimpy.

                    I'll return as it is very close to home.

                  2. In the former coffee shop across from Whole Foods on 4th: "Au Comptoir" a Brasserie-Cafe Parisien (I guess touching all the bases). Opening soon....

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: eatrustic

                      The Produce Co has just opened at Broadway and Bayswater. Will do a price comparo btwn it and the other two greengrocers in the next block east soon.

                      1. re: grayelf

                        Grand Opening tomorrow Noon.

                        In Other News that abomination/insult to all things Mexican @ Broadway & Trutch is gone-in record time (!)

                        1. re: Sam Salmon

                          Okay that explains why some of the outdoor displays still had wrapping on them, even though they were already in use!

                          1. re: grayelf

                            Well Produce Co is going to have to try a helluva lot harder, keep their eyes open and pencils sharp.

                            They're charging double what Young Bros does for local Peaches, Mangoes are 3 times as much as No Frills and the Cherries are no bargain.

                            At this time there is no point in shopping anywhere but Persia Market & Young Bros.

                            1. re: Sam Salmon

                              I find New Apple to be the most consistent, though I'll buy certain things at Persia, especially limes. Young Bros I gave up on when all the produce I bought there went off way too quickly. They do have the cheapest yogurt prices though.

                    2. Plogers Deli on 1st @ Cypress is belly up as predicted by many here in the hood.

                      As always if you hate people you'll never succeed in a people oriented business-the owner literally drove both customers & staff away.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Sam Salmon

                        I went in once and felt like I pissed them off for visiting their business. All for a sub par schnitzel sandwich.

                        1. re: Sam Salmon

                          Glad to hear that the hate-vibes weren't all in my head. Anyone know what's going in there?

                        2. Au Comptoir is set to open later this week. Got to see the space last week and it is looking awesome. Chef Dan (ex Pidgin) is more than capable of executing on their concept. Should be a good one.

                          1. For those of you who are fans of Dan Japanese Restaurant on W.Broadway the clock is ticking.
                            He plans to close for good in December to return to Osaka to start a new business with his family after 14 years here.
                            Trade is good there as witnessed on a rainy weekday evening but he feels he needs a new challenge and now is the time while his family is still young.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: eatrustic

                              I've not been. Thanks for that heads-up. We've also not been to Moderne Burger in like, forever. Time to go dining !

                              I find comfort that at least Dan's owner is intentionally closing in order to pursue other endeavors, as opposed to declining over time (in terms of quality and value) like many restos in town then finally selling out due to either insolvency or being bought out by someone else.

                                1. re: eatrustic

                                  Last time I talked to Ken the plan was for his sous-chef to take over starting in January - so there's hope it will still be good (though perhaps with a different name...)

                                  That was a month or two ago though so perhaps things have changed?

                                  1. re: jerkstore

                                    Didn't hear anything about that but he may have been simply saying he was leaving and the understanding was they'd close.
                                    Next time I'm in I'll clarify unless one of us goes sooner.

                                    He did somewhat shyly intimate that it's too bad that the majority of his customers were not more adventuresome in trying new things as he found that less than professionally stimulating.
                                    I know that most of us on this board would kill for anything super authentic that was off the beaten path. Sadly, many people- just like so many of the the Thai food crowd- want the same dishes over and over.

                                    1. re: eatrustic

                                      "He did somewhat shyly intimate that it's too bad that the majority of his customers were not more adventuresome in trying new things as he found that less than professionally stimulating."

                                      I've been in two west side Japanese places this week and saw similar sentiment reflected on Itamae's faces as they worked.

                                      1. re: eatrustic

                                        Got the scoop last night.

                                        Dan will close as it currently is, but re-open after renos sometime in the new year under a new name - run by the current sous chef (whose name I keep forgetting).

                                        We had some of his handmade soba last night - which was fantastic (as good as I've had in Japan), and reason enough to have hope it will remain a solid spot. It's the only place in the city making fresh handmade soba as far as I know...definitely a leg up.

                                  2. After a long "Closed for Renovation" at the Doner place on West Broadway (between Blenheim & Trutch), it has reopened as Spin Restaurant: http://spinrestaurant.com/

                                    Seems to be offering all day breakfast, wraps, burgers and sandwiches.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: islandgirl

                                      Good to have a 'traditional' diner with all day brekkies, etc.

                                      Might give Sunshine Diner a run for their money !

                                    2. Talk about devolution ;)
                                      First it was a Moxies on W. Broadway/Burrard across from Future Shop. That tanked so the corporate parents reached into their grab bag of food establishments and rebranded themselves as Rockford Grill and Wok Bar.

                                      That too completely underwhelmed. Always dead when I drove by and now the same corp has reached down to the bottom of their client roster and are re re branding as a Denny's. Or are they reaching up...hmmm..
                                      Third time"s a charm??

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: eatrustic

                                        Seems odd that they would open another Denny's only 5 blocks away from the existing one at Birch street. I wonder if this spells out the demise of the old one? If so, too bad, at least the Denny's at Birch St had free parking (and that convenience is probably a bigger plus than their mediocre food offerings).