July 2 was supposed to be the day that Slabtown restaurant the Bent Brick began a grand experiment by eliminating tips, as part of the gratuity-free restaurant movement also joined by Le Pigeon, Farm Spirit, Luce, Navarre, and sister restaurant Park Kitchen.
Instead, chef-owner Scott Dolich announced that the Bent Brick is closing, effective today.
"Despite a fantastically talented and dedicated staff over the years, I was unable to create a consistently strong identity for The Bent Brick," Dolich writes, "and as a result our financials suffered."
The Bent Brick has worn a number of hats over its five year run. When it opened, it was the molecular gastronomy playhouse of chef Will Preisch, who since founded successful prix-fixe restaurant Holdfast. At Preisch's Bent Brick, the modernist food was inventive and tasty, but also unsettling to less adventurous diners, and never quite got off the ground.
Two years later it was a sausage bar, an ill-fated brush with the city's brief obsession with fancy hot dogs. And as it closes, it's been serving food that's a kissing-cousin of the cuisine served at Park Kitchen ten blocks away, nouveau-continental fare in a playful bar setting. The final planned experiment, as a gratuity-free restaurant, will not come to pass.
Dolich's Park Kitchen restaurant began service as a gratuity-free restaurant July 1.
Here's Dolich's full farewell for the Bent Brick:
It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing The Bent Brick's closure on Saturday, July 2nd. Since its opening in 2011, my goal for The Bent Brick has been to create a warm and relaxed space where great experiences were a common occurrence, shared by the staff, our customers, suppliers and peers. Despite a fantastically talented and dedicated staff over the years, I was unable to create a consistently strong identity for The Bent Brick, and as a result our financials suffered.
Even though coming to this decision has been incredibly difficult, I feel honored and grateful for my staff's dedication and the support of this community. Over the next few days I will be focusing on our current personnel, working to find them future employment. I will greatly miss seeing you all at The Bent Brick, but I hope you will continue to join us in our culinary adventures at Park Kitchen.