Side Dishes: Changes and closings in Burlington and beyond
Fans of avocado smoothies and Vietnamese-style coffee are advised to head to Patra Café while they still can. Owner Wendy Piotrowski has listed the business for sale. “I took over [from Sapa’s Coffee & Tea] a year and a half ago. I’m 27 years old, with no business experience. I really wanted to own a café,” she says.
Though the eclectically influenced downtown Burlington spot is often full of coffee drinkers, and overflows with comedy fans at monthly open-mic nights, Piotrowski says she realized running Patra simply wasn’t her passion. “I want to move on,” she says. “I realized I was ready to do other things. I think I’d like to get back to writing.”
She says thus far she’s kept quiet about the sale, advertising only on Craigslist and by word of mouth. Local businesspeople have shown interest, but “I haven’t sold yet or anything,” Piotrowski says. She hopes whoever takes over will continue the popular comedy night.
Recently, hungry lunchers heading to Sadie Katz Delicatessen have encountered locked doors and a sign announcing the restaurant is now open only on weekends.
They shouldn’t fear the worst: The change is temporary and occasioned by “a number of reasons,” says assistant manager Andrew Bedard. For one, the deli’s business is slower in the summer as eaters flock to Church Street. That gives the staff a chance to do some renovation: They will move the deli counter and probably add new booths, says Bedard. Latkes, Reubens and the rest of the menu will stay pretty much the same, however, and “winter” hours will return on September 1.
Thirteen years was an unlucky number for Alex’s Restaurant, aka home of the Vermont Soup Company. Owner Alex Marko will close his eatery’s doors at the end of July. He’s been trying to sell the South Burlington business for months but hasn’t had any serious offers. “I tried and tried and tried, and I’m not even asking all that much for it,” says Marko. “I’ve been here for 13 years, and [business is] the worst I’ve ever seen it.” His landlord, Hinsdale Properties, is the same real estate company that recently told Burlington’s DoughBoy’s Bakery & Coffee Shop to move on.
Stowe’s Partridge Inn Restaurant closed at the end of May. Though Seven Days wasn’t able to reach chef Chris Guzon, on the eatery’s website he cites “many reasons beyond our control,” for the closure. He notes that he remains available for catering jobs.