Thursday, May 1, 2014

FOOD BLOTTER: Chairs Coffee closes, many openings and Kickstarter reflections

Posted By on Thu, May 1, 2014 at 2:49 PM

click to enlarge Chairs Coffee, shown here shortly after it opened, has now closed its doors. Chairs Public House remains open. - AMY HUNTER
  • Amy Hunter
  • Chairs Coffee, shown here shortly after it opened, has now closed its doors. Chairs Public House remains open.

The original Chairs Coffee on Indiana Avenue closed its doors for good last Friday. Last fall when the owners of Chairs Coffee opened their newer location, Chairs Public House, they reduced the evening hours at the original shop — reluctantly, because they knew many customers and groups had made a routine of meeting there during its three years open. Chairs Public House is open from 6 am to 2 am daily.

Porch Light Pizza in Pullman is now open, with such a successful first day they ran out of dough.

South Main Restaurant and Sports Bar in Colville is now open as well, with a full bar and breakfast served all day.

Doyle’s Ice Cream Parlor, which traditionally opens for the season the weekend of Bloomsday, will be opening a little later this year due to plumbing issues over the winter. But they won’t be missing Bloomsday — grab an ice cream sandwich at the top of Doomsday Hill by the community center.

Browne’s Tavern in Brown’s Addition (naturally) is doing a soft opening today, with a grand opening scheduled for May 15. Also opening very soon are Nudo and the Brain Freeze Creamery shop.

Eat your way through First Friday tomorrow: Stop by the food truck rally outside City Hall for lunch or dinner (and we hear Dawn of the Donut will be there bright and early) and then head over to Barili Cellars' 5th anniversary party for the release of their newest wine, Cinque — “five” in Italian — and appetizers, music and the launch of a new wine club.

The two brothers who opened the Hop Shop on the South Hill four years ago are turning over ownership to a pair of sisters, Mel Wood and Emily Redington.

A few notes on the brunch front: Bon Bon is planning to start serving weekend brunch, and Latah Bistro is expanding to both weekend mornings. And you should make Mother’s Day reservations now.

Another craft brewery is starting up — or getting official, anyway. Keep an eye out for Badass Backyard Brewing.

And according to licenses, Cheney is getting a new winery: Blended Roots Winery.

Downdraft Brewing Co. (formerly Cloudburst Brewing) launched a “build-a-brewery” Kickstarter campaign in hopes of opening this summer.

Best of luck to Downdraft, of course, but it does raise the question of whether we’ve reached a saturation point in regional food-related Kickstarters. Three other recent ones — Fusion Flours, Fenwyr Cellars and Love @ First Bite — have failed to reach their goals. Two that succeeded recently — Batch Bakeshop and Yards Bruncheon/Wandering Table — met their goals, but only barely, and both benefited from a well-known track record around town. Looking back further, Spiceologist Block and Santé’s trip to the James Beard House in New York also squeaked past the finish line, and that was after both received a relatively substantial amount of media coverage. Two recent brewery campaigns — Black Label Brewing Company and Mad Bomber Brewing Co. — both met their goals. But, more recently, One Tree Hard Cider did not.

It’s a rule of thumb with Kickstarter that most projects either succeed or fail to get off the ground at all. Very few projects collapse just inches from the finish line. That’s true in the food category, according to Kickstarter’s live stats: 64 percent of unsuccesful food projects never reached even 20 percent of the funding goal. And that seems to be true of our local projects, too — if the campaign can get some momentum at the outset, it will probably do OK.

Finally, here’s a thing that’s been called the best of all things on the Internet: Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos.

Read previous food news here.


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