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Ken & Cook


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I hadn't noticed (or remembered) that Kenmare itself and Travertine had closed. Ken & Cook is the latest venture in delivering a bar scene and food to that strip. My dinner there was partly comped, and the review is here.

 

Given that Ken & Cook seems to be having little trouble attracting thirsty young things, I wonder why the other restaurants got no traction. Wisely, it's going for an accessible, reasonable bistro menu. I seem to recall that Travertine was pricy.

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Although Joe clearly doesn't like the area, I don't think that explains why those places failed.

It sort of reminds me of the Tailor location, which I think contributed greatly to its failure. Certainly true that places fail for a multitude of reasons.

 

 

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As bad as the Tailor location is, that doesn't explain what happened. A bad location tends to matter for a restaurant highly dependent on "convenience traffic": people who visit because they stumble upon it, or it's near something else they care about.

 

Tailor was never going to be that kind of restaurant, with the kind of food Mason served. It needed to attract people from all over town, who were going because of HIM. If Mason had delivered the way Wylie did (and does) at WD~50, it wasn't going to matter what block he was on. Wylie gets tons of customers who otherwise wouldn't set foot on Clinton Street. Mason would've too, if he were anywhere near that good.

 

I visited Tailor more than once in its early days, and it was frequently packed. No, Mason's problem was that his food didn't live up to the proffer. Not enough of the people who tried it early on, wanted to come back. And the reviews were mostly not very good.

 

What you're saying would be more true of Tailor's successor, Lani Kai, which is the sort of place that would benefit greatly from neighborhood foot traffic, but gets almost none on that street.

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Additionally, regarding Tailor, the place was so hyped before it ever opened (I think Mason was blogging about it for a year prior) that it could probably never live up to expectations. As a matter of fact, I think people were sick of it before it opened.

 

As opposed to Ken & Cook, which Wilf didn't even know had opened. Or conversely, that the restaurant (s) there prior had closed.

 

And I really didn't say this was a bad location, per se; it's just a miserable street, whereas Tailor's location was way more off the beaten path.

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I'd think that the people these restaurants are for would love to go down a miserable street as much as the love going to the back of an alley.

 

When a place like Kenmare goes under that quickly, does Kahn lose his shirt, or is he basically playing with other people's money?

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Tailor is the wrong comparison. I'm surprised one of them didn't make it given the proximity to Southside, Back Room, Gold Bar, and La Esquina.

I guess my hip factor is way too low, because I've never been to any of those places, nor Travertine or Kenmare either.

 

 

 

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Tailor is the wrong comparison. I'm surprised one of them didn't make it given the proximity to Southside, Back Room, Gold Bar, and La Esquina.

 

Yeah, I was surprised because Ken & Cook is drawing that crowd right now. But I never went: maybe Travertine was wrong food, wrong price; maybe Kenmare was too velvet ropey (but I am guessing).

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It's hard to know why those places failed (maybe the area really is sad and Esquina gets by on a gimmick and Southside gets by as a clubhouse for Trinity alums). My point is just that, when analyzing the failure of Tailor, you've got to look at it as a restaurant (or restaurant-cum-nightlife place), while Kenmare was more of straight nightlife destination.

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