Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tiedhouse closes

Ahh, I hate reporting bad news: The Tiedhouse, Chris Leonard's in-town outpost of the General Lafayette Inn, has closed, apparently due to lack of business. It was a nice space, but a strange location for a 'gastropub.' Leastways, I thought so, although I'm not a citydweller. It's a damned shame to see it close. Chris writes a bitter epitaph here, a rare look at closings from the employer/owner side.

(Chris has taken some beating up for his blogpost, here and on BeerAdvocate, and -- in a move that I'm sure surprises no one who knows Chris -- has added two posts to his blog: one in which he takes full responsibility for the demise of the Tiedhouse, and another in which he retracts his hasty criticism of his employees and praises them. Call that spin control, but the easiest thing for Chris to have done is to have taken down or whitewashed his first post; and he hasn't. Honest, and respectable. Cheers, Chris.)

Still, the General seems to be doing well, the beer's still outstanding, and the Brewer in Residence program is off to a good start with Philadelphia Brewing in the house. Stop in, have a beer, and try to cheer Chris up.


Andy Crouch said...

Man, is it me or do these types of blogs never end well for the people writing them? In reading some of his other posts, I can't say, as a person who has visited the Lafayette, that they make me want to return. Frustrated as a business owner may be, it seems a better idea to vent to a spouse, friend, or private listserv than to bitch to the world. But I don't run his business, maybe there's only so much you can take.

Bill in Hbg said...

Seems if it wasn't for his staff and customers he would've had a wonderful time running a restaurant.

Christopher Leonard said...

I choose, perhaps unwisely, to open up the door to the back of my house, so to speak. I don't consider what I've written as "bitch"ing to the world. Am I a fool? Possibly. But I'm honest and fair, and do everything I can, as an owner and boss, to provide a great environment.

When I fail, I tend to analyze the reasons why and not just blame it on someone else. I clearly failed in instilling a sense of pride in the Tiedhouse staff; making them want to do a good job. I'll leave it at that.

I strive to provide insight into the challenges and frustrations of running a restaurant. If it serves to put me out of business, I suppose I deserve it. But, as Andy wrote, everyone has a breaking point. Perhaps "these things" end badly for people writing them because by the time they've reached their breaking points, it's already too late.

I'm going to seriously consider the topic(s) of my rants and perhaps going dark. To me though, being misunderstood is more painful than being hated for who I am. Maybe I'm in the wrong business.