Lower Greenville Bar And Restaurant The Blind Butcher Needs Your Patronage — And It Doesn’t Want To Have To Announce It Might Be Closing To Get It.
Almost four years to the day after it opened its doors on Lower Greenville to acclaim and cheers, the future of the neighborhood bar and restaurant The Blind Butcher could be on thin ice, ownership says.
In a Facebook update shared this afternoon on behalf of themselves and their staff, owners Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling — the pair that’s also behind East Dallas’ Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House as well as its neighboring Goodfriend Package Store — come right out and tell their fans that The Blind Butcher has been struggling for the last year and a half.
In their post, they blame a mix of Greenville Avenue road construction, the possibility of a bursting local restaurant bubble and, Tobin confirms in a phone call, their own lack of immediate involvement in the restaurant’s day-to-day operations for the situation they find themselves in — one that, Tobin says, could find the spot, which has felt like a neighborhood mainstay since it opened, no longer… well, staying.
Perhaps this news isn’t a total surprise. For one thing, chef Oliver Sitrin, who had run The Blind Butcher’s kitchen since its opening, left the restaurant in October. And then there’s the fact that the spot — revered for its sausages since Day One — just isn’t brand-spanking any more, meaning that media outlets (this entity included) probably aren’t hyping it up as often as they once did and thus giving the restaurant the kind of promotion that it maybe needs.
The ownership’s planned solution to this problem? Getting their own hands dirty in their spot once more — specifically, they say, by hopping behind the bar, slinging drinks and putting any tips they might earn back into the business instead of into their pockets. Simultaneously, the spot is paring down its kitchen and bar offerings in an effort to simplify operations.
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What Tobin says he doesn’t want is to announce that The Blind Butcher is closing its doors only to face a rash of last-minute patronage from people who falsely claim to have been big supporters all along, as has become Dallas tradition in recent years. He’s not looking for a cash-grab on the way out the door, he says; rather, he and his team are looking to get butts back in his seats on a more regular basis, to remind people that they’re still around and to save their restaurant long-term.
Is it a bold play for The Blind Butcher to be so forthcoming about its predicament? Well, it’s certainly a tough one on the pride front — a fact that Tobin expressed over the phone, explaining how he hopes not to come across as begging or desperate in the announcement. But, on the other hand, it already appears as if honesty is looking like the best policy: In the two hours since posting their announcement, The Blind Butcher’s open letter, in which it declares that it is “choosing to fight back,” has been shared over 275 shares.
You can read the invigorating post over on Facebook or in full below.
Dearest Dallas Populace,
As you know in the last 18 months, this city has seen its share of restaurant closings. Luscher’s, Filament, and now even the beloved Victor Tangos just to name a few. What caused these closings may be up for debate, but the fact is that some of the city’s best restaurateurs, operators and chefs have had to shutter their beloved concepts without any notice.
Truth be told, the last 18 months have not been kind to us either. Construction on Lower Greenville and more and more restaurants opening across the city have put a hurt on us too.
So instead of just closing the doors, we are choosing to fight back. Starting Jan 15, Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling are jumping behind the bar with the infamous (if you don’t know what that means, watch Three Amigos) Josh Uecker Monday through Thursday to help out. Not only do you get to see our smiling faces, eat food prepared by our up and coming chef Ernesto Garcia and drink whiskey till you’re happy but, we will also be taking 100% of our tips and putting them right back into the business. We figured we would put our boots on and get back to what got us here in the first place, bartending and showing you a great experience at Blind Butcher… We will be offering a scaled down and more concise beer, cocktail and food menu while we work through this tough time.
This is not a notice for pity but as realistic small business owners we wanted to face the facts head on and give everyone, including ourselves, a chance to fight for this city’s restaurant scene and our place in it. It is our hope that you guys will come out and support us. Because if we don’t come together as a city and really support the independents, the locals, the little guys, we will just become another statistic in this ever evolving culinary world. If this notice doesn’t get you to come to Blind Butcher to help or give it another try, go to a place you haven’t been in a while or a new locally owned place, trust me, we could all use the help.
Hope to see you soon, we will have whiskey waiting.
Josh, Matt, Uecker and Blind Butcher Staff