Closings: Restaurants Without Publicists Edition | Bleader

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Closings: Restaurants Without Publicists Edition

Posted By on 08.04.09 at 01:44 PM

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Yesterday came the much-lamented news that Mohammad Islam and Malika Ameen's River North Aigre Doux had closed its doors. And then before anyone had time step away from their keyboards it was spilled that Sam's Wines and Spirits was closing its South Loop store (I might add its Marcey Street location feels a little funereal too).

Meanwhile I've been trying to confirm a pair of closings of lesser known but equally important restaurants that didn't have the benefit of PR firms to ring the death knell.

First, the phone number at the Reader's 2008 pick for best soul food, Doggy's S.S. Soul Eatery, is disconnected. I have little more information than that, though someone over on LTHFourm claims to have spoken to a principal who said the, you know, bad economy did the place in.

The second is hardly new news at all, but most of the city's restaurant databases (present company previously included) haven't seemed to have noticed that Mama Desta's Red Sea closed way back in February. That's particularly notable in that it was the city's very first Ethiopian restaurant, having opened in 1984, a full year before the Horn of Africa became popularly associated, not with heaping platters of spicy stews and vegetables atop spongy injera, but with famine and starvation.

Owner Tekle Gabriel says the cost of repairing structural problems with the building became too much to bear. Not to mention he's exhausted and wants to take a break. There are, however, potential investors expressing interest in backing him in a new spot, he says, and he may entertain the idea of reopening sometime down the line. Let's hope it happens.

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