Thursday, June 11, 2009

Margot's Closed- Yikes

Wow. Napa and Co. reports that Margot's Cafe and Wine Bar has closed. That really is too bad, as it was a cute place with good food and drink. There was usually a decent crowd when I drove by. Napa and Co's post about it is worth a read, as it endorses local restos over the chains. Go and leave a comment!

10 comments:

Whitemist said...

This is the thing that happens when the economy goes down hill and the chains move in (tho Holahans did not fair so well either).

stamfordnotes said...

Awful! I think part of the problem was location. Maybe she'll reopen elsewhere - hope so!

Mr. Z said...

I don't think that Napa "endorses local restos over chains" ... I think it endorses reducing the number of restaurants in Stamford, period.

It's not that the California Pizza Kitchen and Kona Grill are forcing the local restaurants out, it's that there are simply more tables than there are diners in this economically depressed city.

With the burst of new restaurants downtown in the last few months that has probably drawn more people into the city center and been a drag on the outliers like Margot.

The chains are an easy target, but probably not the reason that Margot decided to close her doors.

Jane said...

It's always sad to see a small business go under, but except for the bread and curry chicken salad, I don't think there's that much to mourn. Margot's lunch was good, her dinner unremarkable, and it was expensive, too expensive for a simple little spot in a strip center. But I suspect the rent was too high for Margot to keep prices any lower. I think lack of a dinner crowd may have been the big problem. It just didn't have the atmosphere or location to attract a "Let's go out for a nice dinner" clientele. Stamford is over saturated with restaurants, and some more shakeouts are sure to occur.

Whitemist said...

The issue with chains is that they (usually,and there are notable exceptions) keep the prices below what a local restaurateur is able to do.
Thus a local place like Margot's (although I think the location was awful for what the restaurant wanted)will be simply passed over for cheaper food.

Jeff said...

The dead horse I will continue to beat is that Stamford just isn't, alas, the place to go if you want something a little adventurous. Whether "adventurous" means "not thinking that Houlihan's or P.F. Chang's constitute awesomely unique ethnic food" or "not thinking a third-rate Tiernan's cover band is making a new contribution to the scene," Stamford isn't, and probably never will be, the kind of place that encourages exploration. It's sad, but I'm pretty sure it's true.

NB: Greenwich isn't a whole lot better. Neither is Norwalk.

patty said...

I'll forward you the email from Margot (I was on her email distribution). It will be from a hotmail account.

I'm sorry to see Cafe Margot leave. Shoulda, woulda, coulda gone there more.

JR said...

Ah, man...I never got to eat there. I don't think Stamford is being overrun by chains (yet), but I agree that there's not much "adventuresome" cuisine here outside of Egane and Layla's. If you want to eat something besides Italian, you have to go to Port Chester or New Haven.

anne said...

Well, that's very sad. I'll miss the red velvet cupcakes. I regret that I never got to try the brunch there.

BeanoCook said...

I never ate at Margot, so I can't speak to the food, but I have to say location seemed fine. It had off street parking. Its location would only be a drag on its "brand" in that people usually don't associate interesting food with a strip mall, but if that is the case then Stamford is guilty of being shallow and only interested in appearing upscale.

Chains are indeed hurting the dining scene in Stamford. The biggest problem is this, Stamford is a big dining city, there really are lots of restaurants, the dining market is large here, on a per cap basis. Thus lots of competition competing for all of these dollars. Mix in an economic downturn and the fact is, there just are not enough dollars to go around, only the very best survive and what defines the "best" in a downturn is frequently value, not necessarily quality or cutting edge.

Stamford will always be a high turnover restaurant city, that is a good thing on one end, we get to enjoy a lot of variety (I disagree Stamford isn't "adventurous" it doesn't lack variety). I just think the competition pushes many of the smaller, edgy restaurants out quickly.

There are 2 distinct demos/segments at play here in Stamford dining/nightlife, "frat boys" and "empty nesters". I'd like to see Stamford get more into the 30-40 crowd, like Norwalk/Greenwich. Slowly, but surely this is happening.