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Shutter Coda: Marche Couldn't Overcome Building Issues

Jennifer Yin, 8/7/08

Ghirardelli Square: Coming on the heels of yesterday's news that Marche on the Square quickly shuttered Tuesday evening, courtesy of chef/owner Brian Crawford. You'll recall that Marche's original plan called for an entire upstairs bistro to complement the ground floor wine bar and food shop. However, after "three years of work and construction cost into the millions," Marche could still not get the proper permitting and earthquake proofing to use the full space of the historic building. As a result, they decided to cut their losses and hand the space back to the property owner. Semi-related: we couldn't help but notice that construction on Gary Danko's new project next door has barely moved since we checked it out in a year ago.

Says Crawford:

Even though we had a growing business in the restaurant and servicing the Fairmont Heritage Place's Catering and room service and had decent reviews ... we could not over come our problems with the building. Continued problems with the cost related to earthquake proofing and permitting of the Historic 900 North Point, Ghirardelli Square "Apartment House" building made it not a viable location for us. After 3 years of work and construction cost into the millions we are still unable to get full permitting and use of the total space. Many structural issues remain due to poor contractor work and the age of the building. The delays have hurt the markets completion and cash flow. Rather than let quality suffer we have chosen to hand the the space back to the property owner and close the store effective yesterday.

Our excess food was donated to Food Runners and we are trying to find homes for our employees. We may continue the profitable wine business at another location in the future.

· The Shutter: Marche on the Square, Cafe Revolution [~ESF~]
· Eater Inside: Marche on the Square [~ESF~]