FOR SALE!! Anyone?

I was just out driving and walking, at the end of a working day. When I came across another sign along the roadway.

I’m never really surprised by what I see.  Whether faraway on TV.

Or near, here in Pasadena…



I wrote these 2 sentences last night after also doing some internet research including checking if Yelp had anything on their status:  It appears Dish Bistro & Bar in Old Town may be about to CLOSE, or could already be out of business. At least as it was known. 

As of yesterday Yelp didn’t mention any closure. Update:  But tonight Yelp now has updated their site to list Dish Bistro & Bar as CLOSED.  Also, last nite and this Friday night the restaurant is dark, so…






Pasadena could give birth to a new tune. Something like, “Signs, signs, everywhere a sign,…”


In this case, Dish Bistro & Bar says it’s up “For Sale!!” 






As I’ve said before, I’m not really surprised by what I read or see especially when it comes to the restaurant industry. You can read the sign above. Dish was only open about a year with several things going for it:  was “popular” with diners and restaurant reviewers – even saw our Mayor wining, dining, & politicking there one night!  Plus, it’s in the “desirable Old Town location.”  (How “desirable” Old Town is for some businesses is a good question, imho!)  A good sized, simply designed space.

I’ve long believed when it comes to restaurants that it’s not enough to have good food, good reviews, a “good” location, or even a celebrity clientele to predict long-term success.   From the outside looking in opening this type of business is very seductive.  Owning or managing a restaurant is entirely another, harder drama. But this lover will continue to seduce, break hearts, empty wallets, and end in divorce for many.  I could say much more on this subject but I’ll just say this economic repression has been the most difficult time for the industry.

Dish promptly became one of the better restaurants in Pasadena. A place to visit at least once. Yet, apparently a year of the above positives was enough for the owner(s) of Dish.  They want to sell and move on.  Are they “getting out while the getting is good!!” or jumping off a now sinking ship??  Only potential buyers who do thorough analysis, prepare a business plan, and I suggest, have restaurant experience can guess. 

I hope & pray the owners of Dish are simply wanting to move on while leaving the restauran on a high note so this restaurant may live on.  Lettuce hope a buyer will be found which could mean a different sign: the best days are still ahead for Dish!  Buyers, the contact information is above. Please check it out!


A couple of years ago I was giving a tour of Old Town for a couple of successful businesspeople from L.A. They were positive, upbeat, they saw much in color and bright lights, $$ signs in their eyes, full of dreams, etc. I talked to them simply, in black & white.  Never saw them again.

Some readers may recall prior to Dish opening it was vacant for almost a year after BrenArt Restaurant put up its For Lease sign.  BrenArt hosted a Pasadena blog/blogger gathering for us.  Last I heard BrenArt’s chef – a Pasadena Le Cordon Bleu grad – was in Germany or Europe somewhere.



Gotta Go…Gotta EAT!! Stay Thirsty My Friends




26 responses to “FOR SALE!! Anyone?

  1. Royal Oak is a lot like Pasadena. Lots of wonderful, creative businesses come and go… just when you fall in love with one restaurant, it changes or moves or goes out of business. But that’s our lousy economy here in Michigan. Hope you find more new favorites to whet your appetite for culinary adventure!

    • Yep, Steph, oh it’s a tough biz alright. I wonder which is harder: the restaurant or the acting biz!? 😉

      2 guys: agree. Restaurants are so seductive. LGO is good but still we’ll see how long their run will be.

  2. Very sad. It’s extremely (read: EXTREMELY) difficult to make a profit as a restaurant, the start up costs are horrific, the regulations are plain stupid, the overhead is overbearing, and let’s just face it, the food biz is just plain nasty. Pasadena also offer so many choices when it comes to restaurants, and if you are like us, we tend to stick with the places we know and trust. I guess we’ll be at The Big Orange (aka LGO) another one or two lunches this week………

  3. Oops… my comment disappeared. I’m going to try this again.

    I’m sorry to hear Dish is closing. I’ve been there several times over the past year and the food was delicious. But really, I’m not surprised. Each time I went (for lunch only), the place was empty! I used to go to Brenart too and it was the same situation. There’s a lot of competition in Old Town and running a restaurant is a tough business. I hope the next venture in that space is successful.

    Chieftess, I read that the Pasadena Dish was unrelated to the La Canada one.

    • SC, did you notice any decline in your dining experiences at DBB?

      Chieftess, as SC said in her comment: this is unrelated to the Dish in LaCanada. DBB was on Union btween FOaks & Raymond, next to the now shuttered Vive Lounge.

  4. I’m sorry to hear Dish is closing. I ate their a few times over the past year and it was great. But really, I’m not surprised. The times I went, always for lunch, there were only a few other customers. I used to go to BrenArt too and it was the same situation. There’s a lot of competition in Old Town and running a restaurant is a tough business. I hope the next venture in that space has better luck.

    Chieftess, I read the Pasadena Dish was unrelated to the La Canada one.

  5. Lot’s of reasons why a restaurant doesn’t make it…usually has to do with not really understanding the business side of it…and frequently personal problems that conflict with the ownership…where in Old Town was this? And was it related to the Dish restaurant in LaCanada???

      • I can see you fetched one from the dog house.
        I’m still trying to get people to see the east side. Remember, I’m an artist with a nose for siting a trend before it happens. The east side ) with an option to buy or a long term lease.) People love to think thy discovered you. Builds underground cred!

        editors note: you’re not in my dog haus! Maybe Phoebe’s or Boz’s – but not mine.

  6. Eating at restaurants is much easier than owning a restaurant. I’m happy to be on the eating side of things! All the best to them ~ as you say, Cafe, here’s hoping they are leaving it in a good place and not struggling as so many others are.

  7. This is the second business to close down on that block in the last month! Vive lounge on the corner of Raymond closed down as well. Both were nice spots, I especially liked Dish. I think with the sheer number of restaurants in and around Old Town, it’s harder to stand out – even when you are good.

    • Robb: yes a brunch of restaurants in a good location like Old Town also means competition won’t be so good. And Vive has actually been relatively inactive since last year but they finally gave up.

      Marg: I usually say it’s much easier to open a restaurant than to keep it open.