So some of you may remember the two blog posts I made about the Los Angeles restaurant Red Medicine. The first entry on 2011 January 2 was about the outing of S. Irene Virbila, and the second entry on 2013 April 8 (exactly three years ago today) was about the antics of the owner who decided to publish a list of names of people who decided to no-show on their reservations.
A cursory web search reveals that Red Medicine closed at the end of 2014 October, about a year and a half ago now. A quick look at Google Street View shows that as of 2015 March, some months after the closing, the signage is still intact, and Google Maps shows no other restaurant–or any other business, for that matter–has taken over the space. (More research shows that in the years before the opening of Red Medicine, the building at 8400 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA, was the home of a restaurant called The Continental.)
I have to wonder if those looking to open up a new restaurant in Beverly Hills think the building is now jinxed after some of the crazy crap the previous owner did. The article mentions, in the beginning, the restaurant using an image of Ho Chi Minh as its original logo. This is in addition to the two other noteworthy events I blogged about linked earlier.
The official statement cites the basic “new landlord, higher rent” excuse:
Red Medicine has developed a following of passionate diners over the years and we were delighted to create a unique culinary experience for each and every one of them. With new building ownership and the accompanying overhead cost increases, we have accepted an offer and plan to sell the restaurant.
However, I think there’s more to it than that. A business that is truly doing well should be able to succeed in spite of an increase in rent (assuming the new rent is still reasonable). A business that is barely getting by, will more likely have an owner willing to sell and get out before there is a chance of losing it all.
I think Red Medicine’s owner pissed off many people. From the Ho Chi Minh thing, to outing a food critic, to the clearly inappropriate broadcasting the names of diners who couldn’t make their reservations, a lot of people had at least one reason never to dine there.
To the new tenants of 8400 Wilshire Boulevard, when there are any: Don’t run your business like an idiot, and you’ll almost certainly be fine.