The eatery at Main and Battery Streets in Burlington was christened Greenstreet's Restaurant, then Quatorze Bistro, then lost 10 to become just Quatre. The last name change occurred after a New York City joint called Quatorze objected to the use of its trade name. Now you can call it . . . closed.
According to one staffer, the crew learned of the resto's demise a mere three nights in advance. "We were supposed to stay open until Saturday, but we ran out of food," the employee explained on Friday. "Tonight is our last night."
Asked why Quatre Bistro closed after hiring a new chef in February, company spokesperson Melissa Stuart says, "Things definitely went in the opposite direction from what we were expecting. It's just the economy in general."
The company is already speaking with restaurateurs interested in the space. "It might be reopened 'sports-bar style,'" Stuart suggests.
Though it refers to that line of rocks sitting in the lake, Breakwater is an all-too-appropriate name for the Burlington waterfront's casual bar and café, which is slated to open for the season on May 22.
"There's water in the building right now. We have to kind of wade in with boots," says General Manager Kevin Thomits. High waters are nothing new at the scenic site: The restaurant also flooded last year and in 2000.
Thomits hopes good planning will keep the effects to a minimum: "Before it flooded, we went and put all the equipment on cinderblocks almost three feet off the floor," he relates. He doesn't anticipate damage to the ceramic-tile floors themselves. "I think [the water] should be gone in the next couple weeks, and that should give us plenty of time to clean up . . . it's kind of a waiting game right now."
Fans of Wüsthof knives, KitchenAid mixers and Bodum French presses will soon have a new source of gadgets and goodies. Capital Kitchen, a cookware store on State Street in Montpelier, opens its doors on May 1.
The store is owned by Jessica Turner, 31, a former editorial assistant for Vermont Life, and her husband Josh Turner, a graphic designer. Before she worked for the magazine, Turner was employed at a store called Mise en Place, which was the capital's answer to B-Town's Kiss the Cook until it closed two years ago. "When I worked there . . . I was constantly fantasizing about what it would be like if I owned the place," Jessica recalls. "I went on to another job, which was great, but I never let go of the dream."
She hopes the thriving restaurant scene and flocks of culinary students — whom she'll treat to "incentives and discounts" — will help the fledgling store succeed in a tough economic climate. "I have such affection for this town, and I'm so excited to be a part of the business scene and the food culture," Turner enthuses. "Recession be damned!"
Hungry? Really hungry? At Rooney's Café and Deli on College Street, it costs $6.95 per pound to scoop up fresh pasta salad, tabbouleh or traditional veggie offerings from the salad bar. If you're getting 'em to go, that is.
But folks who are willing to stay put can chow all they want for a fixed price of $7.95. With pricing based on weight, "Sometimes a salad will cost $15 or $16," says owner Brian Rooney, who instituted the two-tiered system last week. "I can't see charging people who sit in the restaurant that much."
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