I just learned today that Gideon’s is in dire straights. According to its phone message, the restaurant was closed last weekend, but hopes to reopen on Wednesday January 24th. Apparently EGL (formerly Gideon’s Nightery), which was being spun off from Gideon’s and lately under the management of Vaal London-Kane, is in similar straights.
Well, this is horrible news. The first dinner my wife and I had in
Gideon’s was always busy when I was there, but perhaps that was only on Saturday nights. Busy Saturdays are necessary, but not sufficient, for success in the business, so I guess I was “part of the problem” despite eating there every month or two. EGL has been less crowded; it was a great bargain for lunch or a light dinner; my wife gave them a fair amount of lunch business and raved about the food; its chef, Joe Mezza (spelling?) had been sous-chef at Mistral in Boston, a widely acclaimed French restaurant which we had never gotten to, mostly as they were on the high end of our price range.
There is still, of course, Gramercy Bistro, which is close to and similar to Gideon’s. And I understand that
So what to do? I will try to follow the situation with Gideon’s and EGL, and eat there on a weeknight if I get another chance.
Does anyone have any details about what happened? At one level, I’m sure it’s a problem of not making enough money, but how did the problem go down, and what does that mean for the prospects of reopening?
UPDATE: Having heard from a couple of reasonably well-connected (but not directly involved) sources, I believe that Gideon's had plenty of business but was mismanaged to the point its bank felt the need to shut it down. EGL, while apparently less of a going concern, may be slightly more likely to make a comeback. I never did "Drinking Liberally" which has been hosted there, mostly because I'm not a liberal (except in the classical sense), but I see such events as important to the success (cultural and otherwise) of North Adams' continued revival. An arts community needs reasonably priced places for refreshments and entertainment that can attract pinkos, artists, students, dilettantes and groupies, and gays and lesbians, and North Adams doesn't have a surfeit of them.
UPDATE 2: Gideon's phone message no longer says they're hoping to reopen tonight (Wednesday). Also, EGL does not look likely to reopen as such, at least any time soon, although Vaal, its manager, would appear (unlike Gideon, can't say more) to remain viable in the local business community. She just took over the now-shuttered restaurant a couple months ago. EGL was to now, I believe still "owned" by Bill Gideon, not Vaal (that is, to the extent it was not owned by the bank which lent Gideon considerable sums).