Just as the canal was welcoming a new restaurant to the area (Zing), I received word this afternoon that another canal restaurant is closing. Amanda Cravens has announced that Tavern at the Temple will cease operations after dinner tomorrow night (Sept. 10th).
This is very sad news, though perhaps not unexpected. I've had a handful of delightful meals there but they were never terribly full. I think they had the right location and the wrong restaurant plan. The outrageous success of Creation Cafe proves that people were more than ready to support a restaurant on the canal. Fine dining was probably not the way to kick off canal dining, however. In my opinion, a successful canal dining establishment needs to be one that caters to those out for a stroll on the canal or out enjoying a paddleboat ride as part of a day in downtown. You need to grab people off the canal, or at least entice the young professionals living in the area in some way, not hope for people to dress up and drive to your restaurant and look for on-street parking. The almost complete lack of signage doesn't help much either.
My guess is that the space won't stay closed for long and that we're likely to see another casual dining restaurant in there in the future. Perhaps a sports bar with a nice beer selection? Well, a beer geek can dream. . . .
UPDATE (9/10): Feed Me/Drink Me has some inside info about this closing. It appears that this is more of a management change than a closing of the restaurant. Obviously, I'm not sold on sticking with the same concept, but from a nearby resident perspective, I'm certainly not going to complain about keeping a fine dining restaurant in the area! I wish the new owners/management all the luck in the world.
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