Editor’s Note: With this month’s half-star review of Matt Levin’s Square Peg already a matter of record, Trey and I decided it might be worth checking in on Tapestry—the restaurant that opened in the space that’d once held Adsum. The plan was to use it as a measure of how tried-and-tested fared against new-and-risky. And here’s what happened. ~JS
The Foobooz commentariat has its charms and irritations, but for pith and sarcasm there is one area in which it is unsurpassed: The art of the premature obituary.
Restaurants are constantly closing in Philadelphia, and some denizens of Foobooz Nation take special pleasure in predicting the demise of their as-yet-unborn replacements. My favorite example dates to last September, when word spread that Kar Vivekananthan would be shuttering Adsum and converting the corner of Fifth and Bainbridge into a deliberately more generic gastropub.
It took frequent commenter Tex less than two hours to get the party started. “Foobooz,” he (or she) asked, “Any news on what might move into this spot in 8-12 months after the gastropub closes?”
“If I have the pattern correct,” replied Snake, “it will be the front end of a car moving in followed by something southeast Asian.”
Back in 2007, you see, when the corner space belonged to Coquette, an old lady had plowed her car through one of the windows.
Soon Herman joined the comment thread, cranking the sarcasm up to 11. “Apparently, Adsum got more attention from bloggers (local and national) than it did from customers. But don’t worry, the new concept will feature food from a chef who has already demonstrated his ability to produce crappy overpriced, pseudo-trendy garbage at the restaurant from which he was recently sent packing. Success will surely follow.”
MrOpinionater later boiled it down to the crux. “I’ve long maintained that location is death to any restaurant. Many people argued that Adsum was different. The proof is in the pudding.”
Queen Village’s Location of Death became Tapestry in November. Presumably Tex rewound the Doomsday Clock, setting alarms to mark his 8- to 12-month window. The rest of the neighborhood, meanwhile, either noticed the new tenant or didn’t. After all the attention paid to Matt Levin’s po-mo hijinks, Adsum’s straight-ahead successor—with its beery mix of burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, salads and bar snacks—was destined to rise from its ashes more like a pigeon than a phoenix.
Read the rest of the review »