Scene Shutters! Alessio’s closes! Grotto is fin-o! As Timmy mentioned on FrontBurner, Scene was going to be our “newcomer” spotlight review in the August issue of D. We also ran a full-page picture of Scene in our already-to-the-press publication Dine In Dallas. I spoke with writer Teresa Gubbins yesterday about Scene and Alessio’s. She told me she’d called Alessio Franceschetti on Friday to confirm the rumor and he told her to call back on Monday. He closed the restaurant on Saturday night. Teresa was also the author of the Scene dining review and last week spoke with both chef Blaine Staniford and manager Michael Bratcher. Afterward, we sent a photographer to shoot pictures for the upcoming review.
OK, so here is my gripe. (And Timmy doesn’t agree with me.) Why can’t restaurateurs play fair. Alessio, when a reporter calls you and asks you if you are going to close and you know you are, why can’t you admit it and ask the reporter to hold off until the day after. That enables us to help you get the word out to customers who may be planning on driving to your restaurant. I’d love to hear your reasoning.
You see, from where I sit, when a restaurant opens, most have no problem asking this magazine for reviews or posts on the blog or any “help” they can get to attract people to their business. So my question to restaurateurs is this: after we have covered your business, why can’t you be courteous enough to let us know when you close it. We are a business too and our readers want up-to-the-date information. We try to serve our readers as hard as you try to serve your customers.
Which brings me to you, Scene. I’m sorry that your restaurant closed. I really am. I hate to hear about any restaurant in Dallas going under. Especially locally owned and cheffed spots like yours. But hear our side: we spend a lot of money in the process of reviewing your restaurant and we spend a lot of money photographing it. Why would you not let us know that you are closing? The Scene review was set to go to print TODAY. If it had, the review of your closed restaurant would be on the newsstands six weeks from today. Nobody wins. Readers and customers lose, big time. Which leads me to my last question: If you choose to open another restaurant, what would motivate me to pay attention to you? My phone line and e-mail lines are open. As are the comments. Somebody give me an Alka Seltzer.