Up and gone? | Rock Candy

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Up and gone?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 5:45 AM

GONE LONG GONE:  Hopes fade for return of Satellite Cafe
  • Kat Robinson
  • GONE LONG GONE: Hopes fade for return of Satellite Cafe
The restaurant business is a fickle thing. It relies on not only the business saavy of owners but also on the whims of its customers. Restaurants often come and go. The ones that are the most frustrating are the ones that say "be right back" and never return.

Whither these restaurants? Heaven knows.

For instance, Satellite Cafe. The longtime Heights mainstay closed for renovations at the beginning of this year with promises to return in May. Seven months past even that deadline those windows are still covered in paper, renovation appears to have come to a halt and the restaurant website has been overcome by some completely unrelated garbage. Many have come to accept that Satellite's years of fancy pancakes and hot chai are over.

Another one that's so utterly frustrating is The Box. The original location closed at the end of June with promises to be open at a new location at 7th and Ringo by August. I drive by that location every couple of weeks — there's still no sign of any restaurant going in over there. No one to call, either — the old Box building has been eradicated for the construction of a new shiny drugstore. I get an email about twice a week asking about its return.

Sometimes restaurants do come back from the brink of oblivion. Starlite Diner is a good example of this. It took so long for the facility to be renovated that many gave up hope of its reopening. Yet here it is today, functioning once again.

Which brings me to — is it better to leave your customers hanging on the hope and a prayer that your restaurant will return? Or to do like the folks at San Francisco Bread Company did at the end of November and suddenly and completely shut down, no hope to return?

I look in anticipation to Harry and Jorge's in the River Market; the former Flying Burrito Company location is too good to let sit quier for too long. And I'm thrilled that Brown Sugar Bakeshop's relocation has apparently gone so very well. I'm also interested in seeing what you think — are there restaurants you know of here in Arkansas that promised to return and evaporated instead? Locations you haven't been able to find since a move? Here's your chance to share them.

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