Saturday, April 16, 2011
location, location, location!
Congrats to the newbie to the Stratford food scene; Big D's has taken on the challenge of one of the most cursed locations in the city.
Into the 90's, House of Gene (which occupied the space at 104-108 Downie st.) was a big hit. A half decent Chinese buffet with good egg rolls and questionable lighting. Gene's was a dual location mammoth at that time - and quite a popular family dining destination. But somewhere along the line, when Gene's left, the building was seemingly condemned to its current fail-rate.
Without missing a beat, a new restaurant takes over the location at the corner of George & Downie (kitty corner to the Avon) in whole or part and promptly runs itself into the ground.
Perhaps a second season is achieved by one of these new places but rarely beyond. It seems that there is a great deal of unpreparedness, hasty openings or poorly thought out partnerships associated with this location. The season in Stratford is short and it seems like restaurants scramble to be ready for opening week.
There is certainly more than one location around the city that seems to be cursed with turnover. 27 Market Place where the new Backstage will be opening. 38 Erie st. which currently is being nicely maintained by County Food Co. (great 'bucket' picnic lunches available to enjoy by the river). 107 Downie st. has settled down for now with Downie st. Burgers grabbing a great niche market recently (arguably the best burgers in town?).
But though some of these others seem to have found their niche, that location at 104-108 Downie st. has one of the worst track records in recent history: Bistro 104 became Garlic's became Gilt became Olive's became Tantara has become Big D's. I wish them luck, but God help them!