Coeur Is Shutting Down

Bella Vista's Coeur turns one

I liked Coeur. Actually, I really liked Coeur. I reviewed it back in December and gave it two enthusiastic stars. I included it on our list of 50 Best Restaurants in Philly over some strident objections. I liked it because it was dark and because the bartenders poured strong. I liked the simple, comforting menu and the poutine and the feel of the place when I was inside it. And anytime anyone was in the neighborhood and looking for somewhere to eat (or drink), I suggested Coeur.

But that wasn’t enough. Because Brendan Hartranft, Leigh Maida and Brendan Kelly announced this morning that Coeur was shutting down. Last night of service? This Sunday, October 2. It lasted just over a year.

So what happened?

“We enjoyed a ton of critical success but just not enough people came in.” Maida told me when I reached out this morning. “Truly it was a matter of not getting enough asses in the seats.”

Not enough people. Simple as that.

The good news (if there can be any silver lining in a thing like this) is that the owners have already found homes for all of their Coeur employees at other restaurants in their mini-empire. That’s a big deal these days. You gotta protect your own people when the bad stuff happens. And it leaves them prepared to expand again when the time comes.

But in the meantime, Coeur is for sale. Maida told me that they’re letting the entire operation go (furniture, fixtures, kitchen equipment, the whole package) for just the price of the liquor license ($185,000) and hoping that they can find someone to come in and take over the remainder of the lease. And in the meantime, the space is available for private parties or for pop-ups (something to keep in mind, restaurant people, now that the weather is changing and not everyone can just do a beer garden in their backyard).

Coeur will close the doors at midnight, following service on October 2. Something tells me it’s probably going to be a helluva party.

Coeur [f8b8z]