It’s bound to happen. Struggling venues hang on through the holiday season, hoping it will be a good one because they know a slow January will probably bring on their demise, and then the holidays prove less than bountiful and they throw in the towel. In the first week of the New Year, we’ve got a handful of closings to report.
The first is Quyen, which actually closed back in November. We’re pretty bummed about this one because we’ve been rooting for this underdog for years. As a regular who loved eating there, I seriously wish they had never changed from Party Kingdom to Quyen. If they had asked me, I would’ve told them to keep the kids’ romper room vibe with the menu of authentic pho and stir fries hidden among the chicken fingers, pizza, and french fries. It was like an Easter egg for foodies. Who doesn’t want to find such hidden authentic delights within a stupid jump palace game room for kids? When I saw the Vietnamese workers from the neighboring nail salon ponied up to the plastic tables and slurping up bowls of noodles, I knew I’d found something interesting.
Once they were discovered, and we started singing their praises in the media, they tried to go legit, turning their crazy Party Kingdom into a pan-Asian restaurant with a huge buffet of Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese food. We may be American, but we do know the difference between these cultures. Japanese and Vietnamese are far too different to mash up together on one menu. Had they stayed true to their native cuisine, curious eaters would’ve found them. So sad to see them close after years of trying.
Another closure that just happened this week is Remedy Market on Spring. We profiled Billy Pope and Adaline Thomas for their dedication to locavorism, and we cheered on their efforts to become a neighborhood gathering space in a neighborhood that’s still struggling to find its identity. We hear that Pope will be moving his growler station out to West Ashley’s Local Market and Coffee Bar on Ashley River Road. Stay tuned for information on that as it develops.
Sunfire Grill and Bistro closed this week too. The longtime West Ashley restaurant shut its doors, but they have plans to reconfigure, reconcept, and possibly reopen in the same space. We’ll keep you posted on that as we learn more.
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