Is Fyfe's going out of business?

Grocery stores, recipes, cook books, CSAs, farmers' markets, organic, local, processed, corporate. It's a smorgabord!
white_rabbit
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 7487
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 11:44 pm

Is Fyfe's going out of business?

Postby white_rabbit » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:35 am

I just drove by Fyfe's on East Washington and there is a huge 'FOR LEASE' sign up infront of the property. I pulled in and looked through the windows and they still have booze bottles behind the bar and menus on the table, but it seems very strange that Mullins would put up a 'FOR LEASE' sign if Fyfe's wasn't planning on vacating. Anyone have a scoop?

thebookpolice
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8633
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: The mystical Far East
Contact:

Postby thebookpolice » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:56 am

And is it because of the smoking ban?

Are you sure there isn't more rentable space in that building? I still have never patronized the place, so I don't know what the layout is like.

white_rabbit
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 7487
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 11:44 pm

Postby white_rabbit » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:02 am

TheBookPolice wrote:And is it because of the smoking ban?

Are you sure there isn't more rentable space in that building? I still have never patronized the place, so I don't know what the layout is like.


If anything, the cause of death would probably be because of almost non-stop road construction over the past 3-4 years that restricted traffic to their location, as well as the normal life cycle of a restaurant(they've been around for close to 15 years).

When I worked for Fyfe's they used the entire building, basement, first floor and second floor. So unless Fyfe's have given up on the banquet facility on the second floor, I don't see how they could chop up the space. Plus you have to go through the restaurant to get to the second floor.

Anyway, it would be sad to lose that restaurant.

thebookpolice
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8633
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: The mystical Far East
Contact:

Postby thebookpolice » Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:00 am

Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't actually asking about the cause; I was referencing a little tiff I had back in the day.

white_rabbit
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 7487
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 11:44 pm

Postby white_rabbit » Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:11 am

I worked there about 8 years ago, pre-smoking ban. And there were a lot of smokers in the lounge area, as well as many employees that would share an ashtray at the bar to sneak puffs. The ban probably cost them some customers, but I can't believe they couldn't compensate for that. I'm not trying to re-open the smoking ban debate, but I quit smoking a year ago and now I can't stand the smell and everytime I see some one sucking on a burning stick of fire, I think "what a fool". And yes, I know, nothing is worse than an ex-smoker, etc.

magic moose
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 1198
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:36 pm

Postby magic moose » Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:30 am

Might just be the whims of food and drink in Madison. The bar or restaurant thing is pretty tough. All in all, there are plenty of bar/restaurant substitutes out there and unless you keep getting word of mouth or become a local institution, and have consistently high quality, it's brutal.

Someone, and I can't remember who, was disappointed in the political stance of the management. Can't remember if it was smoking ban, sick days, or minimum wage opposition (or all three). It may or may not be true, but if Fyfe's were ever remarkable enough to return I would have verified whether it was true or not or made a point to remember. Maybe forons might help my memory. If it's completely unjustified, maybe a few drinks are in order as penance.

If I had been impressed in any small way maybe I would have come back... but I wasn't. Not to be too rigid. The Fish Fry at Esquire is really good even though it's unapologetically right wing. I really like the Avenue, too - same deal. Not to make it a habit, but I won't completely abstain for years. But for some place like Fyfe's in my mind - take it or leave it.

Stu Levitan
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 3513
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 8:40 pm
Location: Studio B of the historic Abernathy Building
Contact:

Postby Stu Levitan » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:23 pm

magic moose wrote:Someone, and I can't remember who, was disappointed in the political stance of the management. Can't remember if it was smoking ban, sick days, or minimum wage opposition (or all three). It may or may not be true, but if Fyfe's were ever remarkable enough to return I would have verified whether it was true or not or made a point to remember. Maybe forons might help my memory. If it's completely unjustified, maybe a few drinks are in order as penance.


I don't know about those three issues, but there was a Minton for Council sign on the property during his challenge to Ald. Konkel. Although Fyfe's was blamed for sign, I think more likely it was action of Mullins as property owner. Ald.Konkel probably has the details.

bmasel
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 1702
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 6:06 pm
Contact:

Postby bmasel » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:02 pm

magic moose wrote:...even though it's unapologetically right wing. I really like the Avenue, too - same deal.


Was in the Avenue just after my ballot signature arrest a year ago, most of staff, possibly including managemant, asked if they could sign my nomination papers. They had a couple Lautenshlager benefits too, soo I'm not so sure they're explicitly "right wing" any more. They were particularly steamed over the smoking ban, since they'd just spent big $ to install ventilated airlocks between the bar and non-smoking dining area.

white_rabbit
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 7487
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 11:44 pm

Postby white_rabbit » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:27 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:
I don't know about those three issues, but there was a Minton for Council sign on the property during his challenge to Ald. Konkel. Although Fyfe's was blamed for sign, I think more likely it was action of Mullins as property owner. Ald.Konkel probably has the details.


I can't speak for Susan, but if I remember correctly she was pretty miffed and felt betrayed by Brenda's support of the smoking ban, after years of being a strong supporter of lefty political candidates. Fyfe's was one of the first to install expensive ventalation and smoke eaters to comply with the first round of smoking regulations.

When I worked there Susan and Keith were always very conscientious of their employee's and patron's health and safety. If they have decided to close, it's a sad loss to the community.

barney
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 771
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:43 pm

Postby barney » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:54 pm

bmasel wrote:
magic moose wrote:...even though it's unapologetically right wing. I really like the Avenue, too - same deal.


Was in the Avenue just after my ballot signature arrest a year ago, most of staff, possibly including managemant, asked if they could sign my nomination papers. They had a couple Lautenshlager benefits too, soo I'm not so sure they're explicitly "right wing" any more. They were particularly steamed over the smoking ban, since they'd just spent big $ to install ventilated airlocks between the bar and non-smoking dining area.


True, but in the long run, I think they've been one of the places that have benefitted.

2xBassist
Forum Addict
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 3:10 pm
Contact:

Postby 2xBassist » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:36 pm

Wow... I haven't seen the sign.

I've been playing there with Gerri DiMaggio every other week on Thursday nights for a couple of years now. Summer's have traditionally been slow, but things seem to be even slower this summer.

Susan is great. She easily could have told us to take the summer off, but is so supportive of the music scene, and seems to be in it for the long haul. I just can't see Fyfe's closing. Great food, good bar... maybe just wishful thinking...

If anyone gets the scoop, please post.

white_rabbit
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 7487
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 11:44 pm

Postby white_rabbit » Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:38 am

2xBassist wrote: I just can't see Fyfe's closing.


I hope it's not, that is what was so shocking about seeing the sign up in front of the building. Either way, I wish them all the best.

Paco
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 7533
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:41 am
Location: Whoville

Postby Paco » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:44 am

Why doesn't someone just call them?

There seem to be a glut of upper end restaurants opening lately, wouldn't surprise me if there is some fallout.

lukpac
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 3371
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:51 pm
Location: Madison
Contact:

Postby lukpac » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:02 am

Paco wrote:Why doesn't someone just call them?


E-mail has been sent.

2xBassist
Forum Addict
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 3:10 pm
Contact:

Postby 2xBassist » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:04 am

I had a couple conversations last night that seem to confirm that it's a pretty sure thing. I won't go into any details, but it could be this month, or the end of the year from what I understand.

One of my friends put it best in an email regarding her upcoming last gig at Fyfe's: "I hope you all can make it down not only for the gig, but to offer up your thanks to Fyfe's for serving you and the community for so long".


Return to “Cooking & Food issues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest