Monday, December 5, 2011

Tribute Closes Its Doors After 5 Months

There have been some whispers (and even an overt blog post on Sloopin) that Tribute (800 S. Michigan) wasn't doing so hot. However, it's still surprising to read an article on saying they're closing:
Perhaps it was never meant to be.

After opening delays and other setbacks once it finally did open just shy of five months ago, Tribute restaurant has closed.

The modern-American restaurant in the South Loop's Essex Inn shut its doors for good on Sunday.

"We have succumbed to the poor economic environment that has not helped our new restaurant to grow roots," owner Phil Fernandez and general manager and partner Simon Lamb said in a statement. "We have tried to weather these crucial beginning months . . . but we have not been able to sustain."

Well...that was fast. If you remember Tribute had some hiccups prior to opening, but when it finally opened in July the neighborhood was pretty pumped. While the reviews were mixed - the space probably proved to be too large for neighborhood and concept.

Anyway, hope something else goes in because the space looks great.

(Hat tip: SN!)


Anonymous said...

By chance I went here for the first time for drinks on Saturday night. While the beer and music was good, I would not have gone back to this place. The employees were visibly angry with each other, and the bill included a "liquor tax" which I have never seen at another bar in IL.

BRENDAN said...

well i'm sure they were angry because they probably were just told that they're all losing their jobs.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Brendan. How would you feel, Anonymous, if you were working at a place you knew was going to close in a few days? As for the "liquor tax," IL has the highest in the nation, and my guess is they were probably just being more transparent than the places you normally go to. You're paying the IL liquor tax no matter where you drink in IL, it just depends on whether the establishment lets you know on the bill how much you're actually paying. In any case, the money doesn't go to the establishment it goes to the state. Did you think they were really trying to sneak a hidden fee on the bill to nickle and dime you? Did you bother to ask? Here's more info:

Anonymous said...

I went to Tribute twice, both times felt vaguely embarrassed for both myself and the staff.

The restaurant was too ambitious for the space, location, and experience of the investors.

Decor was trying too hard and the food, though great, was just not up to the level of the pricing. Not surprised to see it close.

Anonymous 12:39pm said...

My point wasn't that IL has a good/bad liquor tax or about where that money goes -- it was that Tribute was the opposite of transparent. At every other bar when the menu says "$6" you can expect to pay $6+tip. At Tribute, you pay $6 + liquor tax (yes, very high) + tip, which I have never seen before.

Anonymous said...

A south loop restaurant closing down? How unheard of!

FYI: the restaurant under construction @ 14th and michigan has already been hit with a "stop work order."