Posted by A fan, a resident of Woodside, on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:56 am
Howard, et al-
thanks for the wonderful food and ambience over the prior 9 years. Marche brought a very interesting and classy restaurant to downtown MP. You will be missed. Good luck in the next venture, what ever it is.
Posted by Reform our Parking Policy, a resident of another community, on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:26 am
The downtown parking policy strikes again. Aggressively ticket customers and watch them go elsewhere.
This was a highly rated restaurant and one that would have drawn customers downtown, if not for the nasty nasty parking police. We reap what we sow.
Look for more of these announcements in the days to come, not by unsuccessful businesses, but the smart ones, that know they can succeed elsewhere, voting with their feet as penalized customers vote with their wallet.
I now look forward to the numerous non-business parking supporters to denigrate this restaurant at this site, and any business that does not choose to survive with one hand tied behind their back.
Business owners of downtown Menlo Park, rise up and let the city council know, that you will move if they do not ease up on their policy of hate and start showing the customers a little love. I vote daily with my wallet, and Menlo Park is too much of a hassle due to the Meter Maids. Another one bites the dust.
Posted by Ding, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm
This is sad news. After Chez TJ the best restaurant in South Bay.
Somehow, I don't think this has to do anything with parking or rent, but rather a weird miss on the Michelin scale. To me Marche has always deserved a star, and a very strong one. For the 2nd one they needed a longer tasting menu, but for the 1st they certainly had everything. They certainly deserve it more then Madera (I don't dispute their quality), but Madera must have thrown a lot of money behind that star so quickly...
Posted by Steve C, a resident of Menlo Park, on Mar 8, 2011 at 8:13 am
I never seem to have trouble parking in downtown Menlo Park. I don't know about the rent issue. There are however, several vacant storefronts in the area. So now the owners get to sit on an empty property for how long?? Seems like a bad time to raise the rent. Must be planning on selling.
Posted by Reform our Parking Policy, a resident of another community, on Mar 8, 2011 at 10:32 am
I wasn't referring to the availability of parking or even to the 2 hour limit, which Palo Alto and many areas have instituted. Menlo Park is notorious for having over aggressive Parking Patrols that they use to supplement their budget. This all-out-attack on customers is insane and has made Menlo Park a No-Go-zone for many of us.
I have never received a ticket there, but I also never linger, and would think twice before having a meal there. I don't go there as often anymore after all the horror stories from friends who did get parking tickets, mere minutes after the limit, and after spending their hard earned cash there. None of them will ever go back, get their hair done there or make reservations for a large group of people to meet and have dinner there.
Downtown Menlo Park is not customer friendly. The business owners know this and here this from their customers have complained, numerous customers have complained to the city council, which just loves that ticket revenue, not understanding how short sighted the policy is. Just look at the illegal red light cameras they installed at intersections without any safety and fatality justifications, soles to raise revenue. The red light policy was illegal and a tremendous failure, a supposed safety act under the guise of revenue generation, just as the over zealous parking policy enforcement is supposed to turn over parking spots, but is really another revenue generator that kills business downtown. More and more owners are voting with their feet. If you are in a wonderful location, and the rent gets raised, you pay it. If not, you go.
There are no bottomless wells, and Menlo Park is starting to come up dry.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:55 am
No, parking limits don't apply at dinner in MP. I suspect it's bad landlord, plus economy plus limited menu limits appeal, even though it's an excellent restaurant. Given how many restaurants fail, how high their overhead is & these still difficult economic times, I'm not surprised, but I am sorry. There are a number of notoriously bad MP commercial landlords - I had one & heard many stories when I was in downtown.
Posted by Christine, a resident of Menlo Park, on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:12 pm
Marche is an outstanding restaurant with an amazing chef and great staff. What a loss for Menlo Park! At the rate the place is losing businesses, it looks like it's turning into a spooky ghost town, and I'm worried that we will be soon discussing safety, not parking.
Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Mar 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm
There is another thread on The Almanac town forum. The Marche chef has written a response (page down to end). He specifically says that the landlord and/or rent had nothing to do with the failure. He put it very precisely: not enough customers.