Restaurants That Only Pretend To Be Reopening


Is this a case of false signage?

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You know how, when you pass a restaurant and see newspaper pasted up in the windows, and a scrawled sign on the door that reads “Closed for renovations,” you sometimes shake your head and say “What a load of bullshit!”

Sign or no sign, this was the scene come July 1.

Because something tells you the place is really closed for good, and some nincompoop has just put up a sign announcing the renovation to save face. Well, something of that sort happened at Dolce Vizio, a bakery-café-dessert spot that, at least at the outset, specialized exclusively in build-it-yourself tiramisus. Later, they added a few more things, but the menu remained mainly micro-focused.

The place closed in May, promising to re-open in June, with a neat sign that also suggested the owners were double-tasking by taking a vacation at the same time as the renovation. But as week after summer week dragged on, Dolce Vizio remained papered up. Eventually, on the last day of June, the newspaper was ripped down to reveal the nicely lit interior, which retained its red fixtures and seating. In the window was a For Rent sign.

Now, there are all sorts of explanations that exonerate the owners from our suspicion that they merely abandoned the business and forget to change the sign. As to what led to the closure, the circumstances shall forever remain hidden because the phone has been disconnected and no emails answered.

Perhaps the owners still had hopes of saving the place when they departed, but the hopes evaporated as they tried to renegotiate the lease. Or perhaps they wanted to retain the illusion that the place was still viable so as to sell the franchise to successors who were not as dependent on day-to-day cash flow.

Whatever the reason, the former owners kept their patrons in the dark, kindling false hopes where none were justified.

Restaurant owners: Please level with the public on the signs affixed to the doors of restaurants in limbo. And keep those signs updated. Your former customers deserve as much.

Near the end, even Nutella didn’t help.

Read an earlier piece about the closing, featuring a thumbnail history of tiramisu.

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