Friday, May 28, 2010

Give Me Liberty...

Posted on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM

“It's never too late to enter a convent,” proclaims the Liberty Bar at the Convent website. Love itâ??especially considering that the move from the venerable old location to the new, originally scheduled for May 26, is now announced as 11:00 a.m. June 2. Restaurants always open later than they first think. Maybe even later than they second think.

I haven't seen the interior finish out at the Convent, though those who have profess to be impressed. (It presumably has level floors and perpendicular walls, which may, however, be unsettling to some.) Like everyone, however, I have seen the coral color that now cloaks the exterior. Boy, howdy. Gotta say, as much as I'm a professed partisan of color in architecture, it's not what I would have done to the old super-mom. But perhaps with the passing of time and a little felicitous fading, it will turn out to have been a bold choice. Well, it's already a bold choice; let's substitute “good” and keep our fingers crossed.

The menu, in any case, is not calculated to further disorient anyone with change. “We will serve our regular menu at the customary hours,” assures the website. Unreconstructed partisans of the old, vertiginous space can cling to a vestige of the past by participating in the auction of well-worn chairs and tables from said establishment made possible by Dwight Hobart's donation to Texas Public Radio. As much as you might have wanted to carve your name in a table before, now you can really do it. (As I write this, the radio in the next room is announcing the auction, TPR being my default setting.)

As exciting as Liberty's move is, my hope is not solely that they will do well in the new location, but that their presence will drive traffic to other Southtown establishments as well. Oloroso and Mad Hatter's, for example. And maybe even encourage others. Just as Pearl is planning for even more restaurants in their developing “urban village” as a way of creating a synergistic critical mass, so can â??hoods such as Southtown hope to thrive by attracting serious restaurants and unique retail. Leaving aside the parking issue for the momentâ?¦



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