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Side Dish 

No Such Thing as Bad Publicity?

Wednesday, Oct 4 2000
Say, You're Welcome
Good news from Magnet Communications, PR flacks for my friends over at the Black Cat. In a recent e-mail from Magnet, the sender wrote, "You'll be interested to know that business is up at the Black Cat since your column last week." Somehow, that wasn't what I had in mind when I reported the alleged rape of a job applicant in the Black Cat's washroom. But just in case there's still confusion, that mention was not a gratuitous plug. It was a call to pay attention: When you're out being wild and crazy, notice what is going on around you. If a situation doesn't seem to be right, or you think help may be needed, then bring the matter to someone's attention.

Get Out the Vote
With all the press Chip Conley, founder and CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, has been receiving, you'd think his spin doctors are setting him up for election. Mentions in San Francisco Business Times, Hospitality Design, and Food Arts were apparently just the start -- now he's made San Francisco MODA's list of the most eligible bachelors in town. With 23 hospitality venues under his belt, Conley just keeps inventing "identity refreshment" for his patrons. But Harry has an idea for you, Chip: How about a discount for us industry types for a Sunday night stay at the Phoenix? That way we could use the pool Sunday and Monday.

I'll Take "Bad Idea" for $500 ...
Of course, I knew of the new dining space that had opened in the lobby of the AMC 1000, but hadn't yet had a chance to stop in to Venture Frogs for a look-see and taste. Let me do all of you a favor: Don't bother going. First, the design of the space: The building was constructed in 1921, and the façade was kept intact when the upper stories were made into lofts. And the modern installation with the theater is expected, and works. But the restaurant's fiber-optic and flat-screen-display aesthetic belongs in Disneyland or Las Vegas, not on a Van Ness street corner in a historic building. As for the food, what can I say? It's modern Pan-Asian cuisine that's both unoriginal and disappointing. The odd thing was I actually expected to like the food, even though the rest of the concept doesn't work. It's almost sad the two young Internet entrepreneurs who started this thought "food and beverage" -- they should have stuck with venture capital.

About The Author

Harry Coverte


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