Agh! Starry Kitchen is closing its Downtown space on July 31. But not to fret, as Nguyen Tran says in an email, "There's no fucking way we're quitting now!" The restaurant, which started in the apartment of Tran and his wife, chef Thi Tran, will be back, he promises, as the couple has already put in an offer for another location within Cal Plaza. Tran also announces the August 9th start of a dining concept called "Starry (Kitchen) Nights at Tiara Cafe," where Starry will serve some of its classic dishes, as well as some new family-style fare, with that restaurant's chef-owner, Fred Eric (help from Laurent Quenioux is also promised), a concept Tran hopes will eventually become permanent. Why is Starry Kitchen vacating its current space?
Again, Tran says it best when he writes:
"Well, to sum that up... running a restaurant is FUCKING HARD Y'ALL!" In all the success that we've had, we've also fucked up a LOT (aka costing $$$$$), inherited a lot more problems than we expected when we took over and we're VERY LUCKY to have been presented an opportunity to WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN! Taking one step back, and hopefully a MILLION steps forward to continue growing SK (as well as continue wearing banana suits, lederhosen & inflatable taun-tauns while passionately cursing up a storm.. of COURSE!) It's pretty overwhelming to think about what we've learned now, and the multiple reasons that most outside of the business will never know why a restaurant that's "seemingly" successful can still have the potential of shutting down (and most would be too embarrassed to tell ya about).. it's a long list, but I will say for me (personally) lack of experience led to some VERY expensive learning (which is why "cleaning the slate" is a welcome option... HALLELUJAH!) ..."but I'm more experienced now MA!" LOL Hey, in the end, life is about learning (and hopefully avoiding creditors as much as possible.. that's always nice too ;D).
Nguyen and Thi hope to be back in Cal Plaza in four months. One thing is guaranteed, we know we haven't heard the last "fuck" from Nguyen or eaten our last banh mi or crispy tofu ball from the hands of Thi. Not by a long shot.
Stay tuned for more details on "Starry (Kitchen) Nights at Tiara Cafe" in the days to come.