Lumiere and DB Bistro Moderne To Close

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db Bistro Moderne - Signs says OPEN but not for long

As recently reported by Scout Magazine two of Kitsilano’s fine dining establishments are set to close their doors on March 13th. The article examines the reasons behind the scheduled closures:

“We’re sorry to break the news that the owners of Lumiere and DB Bistro have given their staff two weeks notice and that the two restaurants will be closing on March 13th. I recently wrote somewhere – either here or in a paper or magazine – that there would be plenty of restaurant casualties in 2011, but I assumed – wrongly as it turns out – that Daniel Boulud’s two Canadian outposts would weather the storm. Why? Because protecting and projecting the viability of a growing global brand is smart, and closing after just two years…well, it just looks ugly.”

Read Scout’s full article here.

It sad to see that fine dining is not fitting in the coffee shop, pub dominated Kitsilano scene. I would assume the Kits residents that live in million dollar plus condos and homes would be regulars at restaurants such as Lumiere, but perhaps not. It appears the recession is still affecting the restaurant business especially here in Kits.

What do you think was the cause, or final straw for the owners to shut down Lumiere and DB Bistro?

Last modified: February 28, 2011

13 Responses to " Lumiere and DB Bistro Moderne To Close "

  1. Karinkits says:

    I only went to DB once after the “redo” for brunch with friends. The service was fine-not great-just fine-what you might expect in many places in the city. The food was okay-to my tastes-there are far less expensive restaurants that serve food of equal or greater quality. When we paid the bill, the thought that crossed my mind was-wow-we could have had this exact meal for less than half the price in at least 4 restaurants off the top of my head.I would not return.

    Before the redo-I enjoyed only 2 dinners in Lumieres plus about 10 trips to the little bar in front to enjoy a couple of plates and some awesome cocktails (their bartender was excellent)-we had 2 memorable dinners plus 8 out of 10 good experiences in the little bar. So, pretty good in all.

    However, in Feenies- wow- terrible service from staff-food for the most part was okay although I do recall at one business lunch wishing I was across the street at the White Spot because their menu items for what we were eating was not only better but massively cheaper. We gave Feenies many tries and were flabbergasted by the terrible service and hoped the “redo” would have resolved that. It did to some degree-the service was better-not up to the price point, but certainly if I owned a restaurant would hire the staff. I recall one particularly frustrating experience with Feenies that I still recall because it occurred over several days and I wondered why I didn’t just change restaurants- I called a week ahead of time to reserve a brunch table for a birthday celebration-asked for a specific location. They never called me after leaving 3 messages. I finally got someone on the phone who assured me that yes, the reservation was confirmed and we could even have the table I preferred. Excellent. Until we arrived-5 minutes ahead of our reservation time-one couple in front of us-they were asked “Do you have a reservation” Answer: “No”- Response-okay, no problem and they were promptly seated. Next up-us-do you have a reservation? Yes-looks in book, then says, there are no tables ready-would you like to sit in the back (dark area and virtually empty) as it will be about one hour to be seated” When we finally got seated-the service staff were unbelievably absent-ask for coffee-40 minutes later-ask for coffee again-15 minutes later-now begging for coffee-finally one teeny little cup. Sigh. So why did we stay after the reservation fiasco-not really sure except we hadn’t had coffee yet. Never went again.

    People, whether they live in Kits or anywhere on the planet earth do not like being treated like they are an annoyance. Places I frequent-the staff often comment on how much they love seeing me because the interaction is positive and friendly. Places that treat me like I am interrupting their vacation of a lifetime then charge enormous sums of money for it-eeks.

    By the way-I do think Rob Feenie is a good chef-but the Cactus Club food has gone seriously down hill since he became executive chef. I hope the Cactus Club realizes that “celebratory” status of your chef is NOT conducive to a good dining experience. And at the end of the day-your customers are your business-your celebrity chef-is a chef.

  2. Neil Young says:

    I have to agree with Karinkits, it was just way too much money for what you received in return.
    Service was barely acceptable, and the food just wasn’t good enough to bring you back a second time.
    We try to hit all local stuff all the time, and want to support the businesses and the people that own them, but it’s gotta be realistic too…

  3. Stinky says:

    HST, relative low value, too many seats. Not particularly mysterious.

    I resent the implication that because real estate in Kits is expensive the residents have failed the neighborhood by allowing a particular fine dining business to go under. Kits has no shortage of fine dining places that are doing great by offering value and an experience that compels return visits. The fault that this particular business wasn’t among them falls at the feet of the owners. I feel for the employees.

  4. Really... says:

    My one visit to Lumiere for 2 people resulted in a bill that was approx $400 including taxes and tip. I have gone on vacations cheaper than this, and while it was good, it was not $400 good. No one should be expected to keep a restaurant that’s not doing its job well afloat just because they have an expensive home…

  5. Anne says:

    I went to DB Bistro several times as I live around the corner. Food was fine, but not great. But the atmosphere was too formal in the bistro for the neighborhood. Why I never went back, my daughter’s school does a silent action,each year, and businesses in the area tend to donate, even if it is only a $5-$10 gift card. The parent that went to DB Bistro was told that they did not do that form of advertising as the name stood on it’s own. They lost a lot of parents to other restaurants in the area that support the community.

  6. Dmitrious Popadopomopolomegadopolous Jr. says:

    When I failed to see souvlaki on da menu I stormed out in a huff.

  7. Jason says:

    “I would assume the Kits residents that live in million dollar plus condos and homes would be regulars at restaurants such as Lumiere, but perhaps not.”
    I would suggest that many of those residents are “house-poor”.

  8. DL says:

    Feenies was awesome before the Sidue’s took over. They pushed/forced Rob out and thought they still had a cash cow. Big mistake because Rob WAS Feenies (the Sidue’s had money but were not smart enough to figure that out though). Suddenly they wanted to be all corporate and highend. It wasn’t fun anymore, the staff was being video taped and treated poorly. After they changed over from Feenies, the food got really really bad and it was expensive. The service and the management was awful. I used to go to Feenies at least 3 times a week but only went to DB once since the change over. After that one time, I never ever went back. It sucked…everything about it. I am glad the GREEDY Sidue’s are going down. Serves them right. Now, if only Rob could get it together to buy back his old restaurants. IF he did, the whole regular crowds would return.

  9. Kyle says:

    Word on the street is the Feenie has asked the Cactus Club brass to take over the space and put in a higher-end version of Cactus Club under the Feenie flag. Probably not a bad idea.

  10. Jacky says:

    I loved the food at the 2009 dine-out at DB Bistro and went back once in March 2010.

    I agree with Stinky, I didn’t enjoy the crowded seating arrangement. Nor did I like knowing a camera was watching tables. I like to have a bit of time in between each course, not to have the entree arrive immediately after my appetizer. The poker faced servers sure distracted me from my meal and conversation with their brisk movements in and around the restaurant tables. The service was uncomfortable and detracted from my 2009 experience.

  11. j.b. says:

    “I would assume the Kits residents that live in million dollar plus condos and homes would be regulars at restaurants such as Lumiere, but perhaps not.”

    Really??

  12. resident says:

    “I would assume the Kits residents that live in million dollar plus condos and homes would be regulars at restaurants such as Lumiere, but perhaps not.”

    You know what they say about assumptions… they make formerly top restaurants go out of business.

  13. Skeptic says:

    You KNOW that Rob Feenie is laughing at the Sidoos right now …