Temple Restaurant is no more?

So, the mild hubbub over at mnspeak.com is about rockstar restaurateur Thom Pham closing down Temple Bar & Restaurant on Saturday night. If you’re not into dining out but the name seems familiar, perhaps you remember the owner of Thanh Do, Azia, and Anemoni Sushi from the story about him being attacked by a group of men outside Azia on Eat Street. Or perhaps you remember him from the tale of the night he stopped in to Temple and a pair of dine-and-dashers skipped out on a very large bill, then showed up at Azia later in the night, where Pham chased them down and exercised his judo skills.

I haven’t been able to find anything in the media about Temple closing yet, and I never saw any prediction of its end either. So I haven’t been able to verify the rumor. From what I’ve read about Pham and his restaurants, he is the goldenboy of culinary modernity, with sheek atmospheres and satisfying and sophisticated food. His other restaurants are successful, so what made this one a flop? (If it has, in fact, flopped.) Perhaps it was the French-Asian fusion cuisine, perhaps it was the highbrow element, perhaps it was the prices, but I doubt it was the naked sushi.

I never made it over to Temple, as it wasn’t in my immediate price range, so I can’t testify to its quality and performance. Either way, it’s too bad that another restaurant has gone under–it takes so much effort, capital, and PR to get one running in the first place. Not that Pham doesn’t have other projects to manage.

3 Comments so far

  1. Justin Heideman (justinph) on April 21st, 2008 @ 11:34 pm

    Since I haven’t already commented in the mnspeak thread…

    It took all the bad things about azia (mostly the price and the occasional attitude) and multiplied them by 1.5. Add a crappy location (not that many hipsters live nearby) and it’s destined for failure.

    Sure, it sucks, but I’m sure we’ll survive with our $14 martinis as Azia.


  2. Hannah Valentine (minn_hannah) on April 22nd, 2008 @ 11:38 am

    MSP mag’s new Foodie File ran a small bit about it yesterday


  3. Hannah Valentine (minn_hannah) on April 22nd, 2008 @ 11:39 am

    Heh–cut myself off there…

    Never did make it over to Temple, oh well. I do have Azia right in my neighborhood though, so won’t be missing it.



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