Powerhouse Losing Power?

“Dining at Powerhouse last week brought to mind memories of my mother’s restaurant,” says Claire Bidwell Smith in the CHuffPo.

That kind of sentence is usually a good thing. We’re expecting it to be followed by gold-tinged memories of a warm kitchen full of life and maternal love, a surly-but-loveable GM who taught the young Claire a thing or two about honesty and judging a book by its cover, a revolving door of young waitstaff who to Claire’s eyes were impossibly glamorous and hip, a vibrant taste-memory of a signature dish.

Heh, no. Turns out that Smith’s mother’s restaurant — while no doubt filled with love — was also more or less a financial disaster:

It was painful to stand by her side in the kitchen, night after night, as hardly a customer graced the front door. And before we knew it, her restaurant had taken on that air of doom, the kind that makes you give the place a wide berth just walking by outside.

This article, cleverly disguised as a meditation on why some restaurants succeed and some fail, is in fact the first whisper of deathwatch for Chef John Peters’ solo project:

I don’t think it’s over just yet for Powerhouse, but the place is wobbling.

It’s certainly possible to recover from such a damning diagnosis, but it’s going to take an awful lot of work from the team. We’re keeping our eyes open.

What Does it Take to Make a (Great) Chicago Restaurant? [CHuffPo]
Powerhouse [MenuPages]
Powerhouse [Official Site]

[Photo: Kona at Powerhouse, via Zesmerelda’s Flickr]


Powerhouse Losing Power?