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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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VA2015 wrote:
Two industries that draw dysfunctional types like moths to a flame are the restaurant industry, and the nightlife/nightclub industry. When I was an event producer I saw it over and over and over.

Look at the owner of Powerhouse/Grove Bistro, what an angry mess that guy is. Or Sandbar/Surf City, who were closed for what, 5 years after they got shut down that time? All that lost income because the owners couldn't figure out how to reign in the party crowd. At least in this iteration they seem to be more properly staffed and can attract a professional happy hour crowd rather than a bunch of meathead partiers.
http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... _city_restaurant_and.html


You left out the poisonous space next to Basic, which is reportedly owned by a crazy Russian dude. I hope the Indian place has better luck than the previous, what, 4 since 2000?

Posted on: 2014/6/23 21:52
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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Two industries that draw dysfunctional types like moths to a flame are the restaurant industry, and the nightlife/nightclub industry. When I was an event producer I saw it over and over and over.

Look at the owner of Powerhouse/Grove Bistro, what an angry mess that guy is. Or Sandbar/Surf City, who were closed for what, 5 years after they got shut down that time? All that lost income because the owners couldn't figure out how to reign in the party crowd. At least in this iteration they seem to be more properly staffed and can attract a professional happy hour crowd rather than a bunch of meathead partiers.
http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... _city_restaurant_and.html

Posted on: 2014/6/23 17:23
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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getz011 wrote:

Let's not blame the victims. Everyone who rented that space undoubtedly signed a lease that cleared legal review. The problem is that the guy who owns the space thinks he's the smartest guy in the room.


No blame intended. On the contrary, I feel sorry for the operators. I'm just trying to understand what's going on. Cesar has been made out to be an ogre and that may very well be true. But his actions run contrary to common sense, or making money. We've not heard his side, or at least I haven't. I wonder what his thinking is or if there is any sort of realistic plan except to be an egomaniac and run someone else's restaurant.

Ironically, I know someone who was in an almost identical situation.

Posted on: 2014/6/23 10:57
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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Baron-Bay wrote:
In Jersey City, an establishment with an attached, active liquor license is an even more enticing proposition.


Especially one with a meddlesome license owner with a track record for demolishing initiatives and alienating his client base.

I hear ya - and sorry to sound cynical. But Caesar is a destroyer of businesses. He's the guy who, twenty years from now, will be remembered as the guy who singlehandedly held an entire neighborhood back. And made a lot less money than he could have as a result.

Posted on: 2014/6/23 3:07
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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The restaurant industry is a glamor industry. People will hock their mom's house to get in, in spite of the scary statistics on failure.

It follows that there will be operators - often first-time operators - willing to partner with landlords in order to get their dream off the ground. In Jersey City, an establishment with an attached, active liquor license is an even more enticing proposition.

This is not to disparage Caesar. I do not know him, the facts, or any of the involved parties.

Posted on: 2014/6/23 2:51
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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Does the leasor, or lessee if you will, sign a lease that permits Cesar to maintain some semblance of control? If so, that would be foolish. I assume this is the case otherwise the lessees would sue Cesar. Then again, maybe they are.

I just wonder how an operator gets into this situation?


My guess is: in the middle of a Jets game, Caesar says: Hey! I should triple the lease and add chicken fingers!

Let's not blame the victims. Everyone who rented that space undoubtedly signed a lease that cleared legal review. The problem is that the guy who owns the space thinks he's the smartest guy in the room.

Posted on: 2014/6/23 1:01
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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I'm curious about what is going on there living almost across the street and having seen many of the incarnations and have heard about past ones.

Does the leasor, or lessee if you will, sign a lease that permits Cesar to maintain some semblance of control? If so, that would be foolish. I assume this is the case otherwise the lessees would sue Cesar. Then again, maybe they are.

I just wonder how an operator gets into this situation?

Posted on: 2014/6/22 23:34
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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The people who ran M Lounge have confirmed they have nothing to do with the sign on the awining announcing it will re-open next week.

Posted on: 2014/6/22 20:33
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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I spoke to Cesar about renting from him to start a place up. He was ok for the first phone call, said we could meet up and talk business. He quoted me a decent amount for rent per month. Second phone call he said he had no desire to rent out the space, but wanted to "partner up" and I needed to bring at least 75,000 to the table. He said that he could charge at least 7000 a month in rent because of the liqour license. I stopped there with him. He has essentially set up a spot, re modeled and bought new kitchen equipment, but wants to only collect on the business.

At this point if any place is to succeed there, they need to completely remodel. It has the stench of failure all over it.

Posted on: 2014/6/22 6:50
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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M Lounge had pricing appropriate to the neighborhood-when Cesar tried the Torch House he was charging for a burger and drinks what they charge at Maritime Parc on the water, and the happy hour specials weren't, well special.

I don't know Cesar, but he sounds like someone who never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Edited to add that someone is reporting a sign on the awning that they will re-open within a week.

Re-open by who is the question!

Posted on: 2014/6/22 2:32

Edited by Monroe on 2014/6/22 2:56:23
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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It is WELL KNOWN in the neighborhood that the owner of that location, Cesar, has been directly responsible for the demise of MAE, Manteca (which never officially opened), Torch House and now MLounge.


Caesar needs a psychiatrist. As far as Lafayette is concerned, he's worse news than twin tornados, a 15-foot surge, and a horde of killer bees.

Posted on: 2014/6/22 2:15
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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bodhipooh wrote:
My understanding from the past two debacles (and, perhaps it is also true for MLounge, making it the third in a row) is that the landlord/owner (Cesar?) starts making demands about being made partner in the operations once they gain some traction and becomes very meddlesome. What a shame. Every time I hear of something opening in that corner I simply assume it will crash and burn. In hindsight, MAE was remarkable in how long it lasted.



Really, this makes no sense? Torch House has been open a maybe a month. Wouldn't a new owner at least try to last three months to at least cover some cost? Something more fishy has to be happening here. Would love a byob in the neighborhood too! Like a Madame Claude


The fact you dont believe this shows that you are new to the neighborhood, or incredibly out of touch. It is WELL KNOWN in the neighborhood that the owner of that location, Cesar, has been directly responsible for the demise of MAE, Manteca (which never officially opened), Torch House and now MLounge.

If you want to get yourself a clue, go ahead and join Nextdoor Lafayette. The crew/team behind MLounge stated as much last night. This is the intro to the post by the chef/owner:

Quote:

We regret to inform you guys that Mlounge door has been closed due to some disagreement with the landlord.


Posted on: 2014/6/20 22:10
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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Posted on: 2014/6/20 21:00
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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My wife and I use to go to MAE all the time till it closed, haven't gone to Union Republic on Newark that the owners opened. Went to Torch house once, thought it was a bust, was thinking of going back when they passed their growing pains but it never happened. Didn't get a chance to go to the new (now closed).
Parting from the subject just thought it was kind of cool here is a link to a story of Die Wilde Gans or The Wild Goose an early Dutch tavern in Communipaw.
http://www.njhm.com/gibbetisland.htm

Posted on: 2014/6/20 17:22
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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bodhipooh wrote:
My understanding from the past two debacles (and, perhaps it is also true for MLounge, making it the third in a row) is that the landlord/owner (Cesar?) starts making demands about being made partner in the operations once they gain some traction and becomes very meddlesome. What a shame. Every time I hear of something opening in that corner I simply assume it will crash and burn. In hindsight, MAE was remarkable in how long it lasted.



Really, this makes no sense? Torch House has been open a maybe a month. Wouldn't a new owner at least try to last three months to at least cover some cost? Something more fishy has to be happening here. Would love a byob in the neighborhood too! Like a Madame Claude

Posted on: 2014/6/20 15:38
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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My understanding from the past two debacles (and, perhaps it is also true for MLounge, making it the third in a row) is that the landlord/owner (Cesar?) starts making demands about being made partner in the operations once they gain some traction and becomes very meddlesome. What a shame. Every time I hear of something opening in that corner I simply assume it will crash and burn. In hindsight, MAE was remarkable in how long it lasted.


Posted on: 2014/6/20 14:52
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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Would someone please just buy this building from him?!?

Posted on: 2014/6/20 13:48
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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bodhipooh wrote:
That's incredible! Why can't that guy stay out of his own way??? You would think that he would rather enjoy money from a steady rent than sitting on an empty corner property. What a shame. I didn't even get to stop in to check it out since I have been so busy lately.

You and me, both. I tried to get there for lunch and it was closed. I was just talking with a neighbor yesterday about how we have to get down there for dinner. Now...

Posted on: 2014/6/20 12:52
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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That's incredible! Why can't that guy stay out of his own way??? You would think that he would rather enjoy money from a steady rent than sitting on an empty corner property. What a shame. I didn't even get to stop in to check it out since I have been so busy lately.

Posted on: 2014/6/20 12:10
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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And, yet again landlord issues have shuttered the M Lounge space. MAE lasted for a bit, the Torch House for a shorter period of time, and M Lounge for about a millisecond.

Jeez, I feel bad for the people that have tried to get something going in that space.

Posted on: 2014/6/20 11:13
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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The Torch House awning is gone, guess it's moving forward. I'm told the chef lives about a block or so away, which I think is a great sign.

Posted on: 2014/5/24 20:05
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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Fingers crossed! I'm dying for another MAE, but I'd be perfectly fine with just a good local bar with decent food/prices.



Quote:

Pebble wrote:
Quote:

Monroe wrote:
Rising from the ashes of the Torch House will be 'M Lounge', shooting for an end of May opening. Cuisine will be international, 4-7 happy hour, new operator named Ray. More news to follow, not much information was available-I just happened to walk by (after seeing some activity earlier in the week) tonight and there was a family get together that I intruded upon.

That's interesting... Hopefully, it doesn't suck.

Posted on: 2014/5/19 15:30
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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Monroe wrote:
Rising from the ashes of the Torch House will be 'M Lounge', shooting for an end of May opening. Cuisine will be international, 4-7 happy hour, new operator named Ray. More news to follow, not much information was available-I just happened to walk by (after seeing some activity earlier in the week) tonight and there was a family get together that I intruded upon.

That's interesting... Hopefully, it doesn't suck.

Posted on: 2014/5/19 15:28
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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Rising from the ashes of the Torch House will be 'M Lounge', shooting for an end of May opening. Cuisine will be international, 4-7 happy hour, new operator named Ray. More news to follow, not much information was available-I just happened to walk by (after seeing some activity earlier in the week) tonight and there was a family get together that I intruded upon.

Posted on: 2014/5/18 0:28
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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Agreed. They should have just kept everything the same and kept the name. MAE was a great spot.

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newlafayette wrote:
if you are opening a restaurant generally the rule is you need to plan to lose money for the first year. also, it's a shame that people might think that the neighborhood cannot support a restaurant/bar because we did when it was a good one (MAE) and that closing had nothing to do with it not being successful or supported.

Posted on: 2013/11/27 18:38
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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if you are opening a restaurant generally the rule is you need to plan to lose money for the first year. also, it's a shame that people might think that the neighborhood cannot support a restaurant/bar because we did when it was a good one (MAE) and that closing had nothing to do with it not being successful or supported.

Posted on: 2013/11/27 18:33
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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anonymess wrote:
I have to think there's more to this than money.


I don't think so, the owner owns the building. They were too expensive for the neighborhood. The burger wasn't any cheaper than at Maritime Parc and their happy hour wasn't special.

Posted on: 2013/11/26 0:05
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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I have to think there's more to this than money.

Posted on: 2013/11/25 23:58
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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after the dj night and listening to customers and instead of having your own vision, this does not surprise me.

Posted on: 2013/11/25 18:15
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Re: The Torch House has arrived
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tommyc_37 wrote:
Two months in and they are closing? What's up with that space?


Nothing wrong with that spot. But, plenty wrong with the various executions. Over the past seven years, the only place to get it right was MAE.

Sadly, this is the Torch House summary: lack of focus, over priced menu, lack of character.


They were charging downtown prices which, to me, was the issue. I've stopped by for drinks/dinner/brunch at least a half dozen times and they were 25% higher in price than they should be. Kelly is a doll, and the staff was terrific, but it was too expensive for the neighborhood-especially knowing the owner owns the building.

Posted on: 2013/11/25 16:39
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