We’re not even a month into the dog days of summer and already the pooch has bared its fangs and bitten several local restaurants.
Despite rumors bandied about the ‘Net that Philippe, Philippe Chow’s upscale Chinese restaurant in Boca Raton, has closed, a quick trip there revealed a sign on the door saying, “Closed for the summer.” Now, it’s not at all unusual for SoFla eateries to shut their doors for the doggie summer months. . . nor is it unusual not to reopen them when fall and winter roll around. But I’ll try to get some details and let you know.
The rest of these babies, though, are definitely toast, including two in downtown West Palm. Reef Road is another place that never seemed to find its way, no matter what the concept or ownership. And Gratify gastropub is gone too, according to my buddy Jan Norris a victim of ever-increasing competition for local dining dollars and a concept that wasn’t supported by the folks who actually showed up the eat and drink there.
Over on Palm Beach, after more than six decades in business, local icon Hamburger Heaven has gone buns up, the result of a dispute with the building’s landlord. Supposedly it will reappear somewhere on the Island but nothing right now as to when and where. And in Delray, say Ciao to Dolce Amore, the cute little Italian spot in Pineapple Grove.
If all this sounds like fairly grim news, it is. Even though some people (and restaurants) are doing well and economists cite meaningless numbers and talk about “recovery,” for most of us, things are still pretty tough out there. So as the dog days of summer wear on, don’t be surprised if the Grim (Restaurant) Reaper is one of the busiest guys in town.