Monbella Bistoria at 1809 West 1st Ave, home to a number of restaurants in the past (most recently Industry, Vintropolis), has closed. Word is the investors abruptly pulled the plug on the casual Italian-French hybrid and fired everyone yesterday. I’ve heard the downhill acceleration began in earnest after the fratricide this past Spring (they canned Brad Roark, the original heart and soul managing partner), so while I wouldn’t wish a pink slip on anyone – ever – I can’t say that I’m the least bit surprised. Monbella, though promising in the beginning, ended up with the PR reach of a dead lemur (Facebook isn’t enough), and after what happened to Brad, their reputation suffered a horrible reek within the industry, one that would brook no febreeze.
For those keeping score at home, this is the third restaurant that has closed on chef Brian Fowke’s executive watch in three years (first Rare, then Metro, and now Monbella). I think that officially constitutes a slump. Here’s hoping that everyone lands on their feet, and that the fourth time is a charm. Ciao, bello.