St Jude’s restaurant on Brunswick St closed last Saturday night. The owners are relocating their other business, Rice Queen, from its current location on Smith St to the former St Jude’s space. More recently, St Jude’s was offering a cheap bar meal and seemed to have lost their mojo.
With so much competition around, and some diners being strongly driven by novelty and the desire to try newer places like Hell of the North and Gorski and Jones, it must be hard to transition from ‘new and exciting’ to ‘established local institution’.
Most restaurants only last a few years. I’m as guilty as anyone in this regard for, despite greatly enjoying my meals there, I don’t think I’d been since 2010.
Rice Queen is less upmarket than St Jude’s and is perhaps surviving the current economic circumstances more easily. It has a mixed reputation, but may do well on Brunswick St. It therefore leaves a vacancy in Smith St, but I wonder if there are issues in their building.
It’s being redeveloped by having apartments added on top of it while the tenants below continue with business as usual. I’d like to hear from anyone with information about how that’s progressing.