The economic indigestion that is afflicting America these days has impacted the restaurant industry with diner cutbacks and corporate cancellations. A-B is not surprised to see that some of the first victims are the latest arrivals in the hottest locations. Yes, we’re talking about Loop 1604.

“The bad economy and increased number of new restaurants in our area took its toll on us this year, and after a long, hard fight, it is now time to let it go,” wrote Mary Esther and Brian West about their decision to shutter Café Paladar. We’re sorry to see them leave; the pair had done everything they could — including staging art and food events — to stem the lemming-like lurch of looplanders to newer, trendier places.

One or two closings (we can also count Marty’s New York Deli among the casualties) naturally lead to rumors of another, but Patrick Richardson of the Silo siblings responded to my inquiry regarding the 1604 location by saying that, though last year wasn’t as great as their “honeymoon” period, they did well. “We are a proven solid brand that will have plenty of ‘Bliss’ (referring to chef Mark) in 2009.”  

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