A SMALL, NEATLY written sign on the front door says it all. L’Attitude has closed down until May 1st. It’ll be open only for special events until then.
It had recently started closing down on Sunday and Monday but business seemed sluggish most days and nights. Attempts to contact the owner haven’t succeeded so far.
It’s a shame. L’Attitude occupies a handsome, historic building, with a classy, sophisticated interior, and a delightful view of the Lower Harbor and the park, and yet…
Though you’ll get a few arguments, the food has generally been good, in some cases very good. A nice selection of drinks. Generally good service, though there have been lapses.
So what’s wrong? Inconsistency, say many. Lack of identity, say others. As one observer recently put it, if you suggest to out-of-towners that you go to L’Attitude for lunch, and they ask you what kind of food to expect, you’d have to answer….uh…uhh…eclectic. No identity. No brand.
Of course, a major factor in all of this is that almost every Marquette restaurant struggles in the winter. Tourism dries up. You hope to hang on from November through April with the occasional special events and holidays, but then you rake in the cash (you hope) in the summer.
May 1st L’Attitude will reopen. The snow will have melted, the sun will be shining, and we’ll all have a new and brighter attitude.
IF L’ATTITUDE HAS the best space and location in Marquette, the newly revived Ron’s Taco Shop may have one of the worst.
Even owner Rigel Pihlainen admits it.
Ron’s is now located in the basement of the Masonic Square on Washington Street. No signs outside, and really no signs inside. No tables. Just a counter with the menu listed by magic marker on a white board.
The food’s prepared in a kitchen upstairs.
And yet they’re doing business, six days a week. On Fridays and Saturdays they’re open until three in the morning. They had a huge following at their previous shop on Third Street; many are still stopping by in the basement for their meals. Seating for 10-12. Delivery also available.
Social media and radio are spreading the word.
You gotta give it to Pihlainen. He doesn’t give up. A hoped-for move to a street level location on Washington Street (the former Farmer Q’s) fell through at the last minute, and now he’s involved in disputes with two former landlords.
But he’s still making tacos. He’s still got his diehard fans.
The basement location, Pihlainen explains, is just temporary. Month to month. He’s looking for a permanent location, above ground, where he’ll get a lot more visibility, attract a lot more diners, and assemble far more tacos and burritos.
In the meantime, he’s just staying in the game.
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