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People just not ready to buy Vietnamese food like they buy burritos, owner of closed Cleveland Circle eatery says

The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to let the owners of the shuttered Sa Pa Vietnamese restaurant on Beacon Street in Cleveland Circle as a sit-down Asian restaurant with a bar.

Manager Frank Schillace said the previous "Chipotle-like" format, in which customers would order, cafeteria style, then find a seat, proved to be a money loser - $20,000 to $30,000 a month, he told the board at a hearing today.

Schillace said that, with the board's approval, the restaurant will re-open as Jade Monkey, would feature table service and would see the food line replaced with a bar. The restaurant already has a license to see beer, wine and liqueurs.

The addition of the bar would increase the restaurant's capacity from 32 to 49 seats, he said.

The board decides tomorrow whether to approve the changes.

No city officials spoke for or against the proposal.

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Comments

The problems with Sa Pa were that it was expensive and the food didn't taste good.

Perhaps the management of a "Vietnamese noodle restaurant" should focus on not sucking at making Phở.

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I agree. I ate here once and both the Pho and Banh Mi were not good at all, so I'm not surprised that it didn't make money.

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had in Boston. The pho was undersized, lukewarm, had a terrible, bland broth, and came in a disposable plastic bowl with a tiny plastic spoon for $10, with counter service.

Just wretched, especially when a couple of blocks away, you can get a big, piping-hot bowl of pho with a properly deep-flavored, aromatic broth, with table service and decent servingware, for $8 or $9. (Pasteur or Hoa -- they're both really good.)

I presume that same formula pertained in Brighton, in which case it richly deserved to fail.

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... that does Vietnamese "cuisine".

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Minado in Natick does really well with all you can eat Asian seafood cafeteria/buffet style.

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It's unfortunate that they didn't get as much traffic as they expected, and I'm sorry to hear that they were losing so much money in the process. It looks as though they've completely revamped the interior (it looks very interesting), and I wish them all the best with the re-launch.

As much as I loathe the idea of more booze in Cleveland Circle (Maryann's and CitySide clientele already do enough damage), it would be nice to have an alternative that would perhaps bring in a slightly more mature crowd.

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I agree its to bad, though the food quality was not that good, and the place did have a confusing feel to it.

Also they were stressing Southern Vietnam roots with a name for a a Very northern town, which I also found confusing.

They however did have a liquor license. As did the Bangkok Bistro before they got pushed out, though neither had a sit down bar. I can recalling drinking way to many Sing Has there once or twice.

I am not sure if the license stayed with the location or with the restaurant, because the new Bangkok Bistro has beer and wine at least.

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As "mature" resident of Cleveland Circle, I'm really looking forward to a place to get a drink that isn't Mary Ann's or Cityside. this will fill a void in the market.

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I'm not sure it's much different than Bangkok used to be, or Finn's - more of an issue is that this new bar space will be a total of about 10 seats (not including their table service). Tiny bars like that have trouble taking hold as a "place to grab a drink".

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What delivery services are there for restaurants that aren't set up with delivery services?... besides asking a taxicab.

For example, Mary Chung Restaurant !

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Try:
Foodler.com [with the latter 2 options available through it as well]
MixMenu.com
Diningin.com

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I've been using foodler for almost 8 years now I think and only ever had one problem with them. I like them because they use a loyalty system that will reward you (eventually) with funny money towards purchases. I don't know if other companies do the same thing or not, I'm sure they probably do, but consolidating which services I use makes the most sense in that case anyway.

WRT the one problem I had with them: A few years back it was late as all get out and I used them to order something from Pizza Ring, as I'd done a few times before with no issue. Driver claimed that they tried to make the delivery and didn't receive any answer at the door, which I found difficult to believe since I was on my stoop for ~2 hours with a friend, waiting. They didn't reimburse me for the purchase which irritated me given the patronage I'd shown but I can't say I was terribly surprised, either. I solved that issue by just never ordering from Pizza Ring again and still use foodler to order.

Another option that seems to work pretty well in this area is Grubhub. You will sometimes find a restaurant that is on GH but not foodler, or vise versa. If I recall Grubhub seemed to be better in East Boston.

Edit: Also worth mentioning is that Foodler has a fair amount of coupons/specials that are online only, with a considerable amount of "first time buyer" deals for restaurants.

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The labs I work for, hold weekly meetings where food is provided. Different lab members are delegated to order food for each meeting.

I created a special Foodler account for each lab, plugging in the appropriate company credit card information. Whoever orders food, only needs to know the Foodler login.

I automatically receive emails with details of every order, so it's very easy for me to reconcile the credit card charges, and I don't have to reimburse people individually. Eat24 is another, similar service we also use. It has a slightly different selection of restaurants, but works the same.

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Any others?... for example https://twitter.com/RIGHTCOASTCOUR just turned up.

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it only services a few neighborhoods of boston, also, it employs cyclists so they arent trustworthy.

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Any others?... https://postmates.com/ turned up too

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Any others?... another just turned up at https://favordelivery.com/

see also... NeighborFavor
at
http://corp.sec.state.ma.us/corpweb/CorpSearch/CorpSearch.aspx

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foodler, doordash, grubhub, eat24

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