I heard the news on Twitter today, Verde Mexican Food is closing. I was bummed, surprised, frustrated and maybe a little pissed. I called my buddy Si Robbins for the scoop and was told that it was true. Apparently, they do a decent business during the day, but there really isn’t enough regular evening business to make financial sense for this gem of an establishment in what is supposed to be an up and coming area.
Early reports of Verde were overwhelmingly positive, the vibe was there and the excitement was sure to translate into success for some really nice people serving up some really great food. The tortillas are amazing, the food is fresh & tasty, and the place is one of those comfortable little spots that made me want to visit often. Well, at least I meant to visit often. Truth is, I’ve only been there 4-5 times. For me, I live in Tempe and it isn’t exactly convenient for me to just pop in any time I want. I guess I had assumed that people living in or near downtown were visiting there enough to keep the doors open. I had seen decent traffic during my lunch visits, but, apparently, that isn’t cutting it.
Home made tortillas from Verde were awesome!
Watching some of the recent talk online, it sounds like they may try to relocate. I’m hoping for a Tempe location. 🙂
David from the awesome Phoenix Rail Food blog had this to say in a recent Facebook comment about the closing of Verde.
“It’s incredibly frustrating. So many people talked enthusiastically about Verde before it opened, but far fewer turned out to support it on a regular basis. I was always surprised that Matt’s Big Breakfast, a block away, had lines outside while Verde always had empty seats inside.”
While I feel bad for the people that have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this project, the bigger story might be what is / is not happening in downtown. How long will it be before there are enough residents to support places like this?
Some urbanites say they don’t like places like CityScape bringing more suburban-style business to the area, that we should “support the little guy” and “shop local.” Guess what? There might need to be more big guys to HELP support the little guys.
I happen to really like a lot of the new things happening in downtown Phoenix. Several of my friends are doing a lot to raise awareness of places like Verde, Bliss and many other small, independently-owned places that have cool written all over them.
Unfortunately, is seems cool can get killed without enough people sharing the love…