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PS7's, Chef Peter Smith at 777 I Street, Verizon Center - With Sous Chef Andrew Markert - Closed

Verizon Center American Modern American Lounge Cocktails Get The Chefs Choice Burger! Closed

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#351 DonRocks

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:23 PM

It is a new rumor, an addendum to the closure (no longer rumor), and as usual, I'm going to keep my mouth shut about the details and watch someone else break the story.

Why?

Because I'm an ineffective investigative reporter with a big heart, who values loyalty and decency above personal gain, that's why.

Remember that, my friends, when you think I'm some sort of self-serving twit holding something against you - because I wish for nothing but your success and happiness, despite the way you've treated me in the recent past.


From this point forward, I'm going to ask myself, "What's in this for me, covering people's asses who couldn't care less about mine?"

I've got some serious soul searching to do asking myself whether or not I owe anybody anything because quite frankly, I don't think I do.

I won't even get so much as a "thank you" out of this.

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#352 RJ Cooper

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:30 PM

Don,

Thanks........just saying your doing a great job. Happy Holidays.

R J Cooper III
Chef/Owner

Rogue 24

922 N St Nw Rear Blagden Alley

202.408.9724

 

Gypsy Soul

Mosaic District

Merryfield VA

opening-when the wind blows cold again


the kid can cook llc.
202.297.6240


#353 Tweaked

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:31 PM

Thanks you big hearted twit! :P
Meat is Murder...Tasty Tasty Murder

#354 WWZ

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:39 PM

So now it's been broken by someone else. Unless your rumor is something else?

#355 WWZ

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:58 PM

Something's going to have to change. If I broke all the news I knew about people and the restaurants they run, people would hate me, fear me, respect me, and maybe, just maybe, would stop treating me like dirt because they'd be afraid of what I could do to them.

I'm tempted to come out and say what I know because quite frankly, the public is interested, and what the hell do I have to lose at this point? It's not like I'm making a dime off of these cheap pieces of shit who turn around and insult my members behind my back.


I think you're on to something..

#356 Chef Tom

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:00 PM

Here is my ignorant suggestion Don: Spill the beans and profit from it. In a way, you deserve it. No one is looking out for you. Only you.

When any of my employees gave their notice I always told them that they had to take care of themselves and I understood.

Perhaps a culture of openness would be good.

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#357 DonRocks

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:08 PM

Here is my ignorant suggestion Don: Spill the beans and profit from it. In a way, you deserve it. No one is looking out for you. Only you.

When any of my employees gave their notice I always told them that they had to take care of themselves and I understood.

Perhaps a culture of openness would be good.


You looked out for me, Tom. And don't think for a minute I've forgotten.

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#358 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:15 PM

From this point forward, I'm going to ask myself, "What's in this for me, covering people's asses who couldn't care less about mine?"

I've got some serious soul searching to do asking myself whether or not I owe anybody anything because quite frankly, I don't think I do.

I won't even get so much as a "thank you" out of this.


I don't understand how you can either profit or are harmed when you're not the first person to break the news. You have access to alot of information, information that I may find curious. But you said you're not going to profit from such information. Then why are you upset that you don't get to break the news. If someone else breaks the news, how does that harm you? Take PS 7 for example - how does it affect you when someone says it's closing before you do and it's being replaced with XXXX before you do?

I'll say one thing though, if you start revealing what you know, then you might not know these inside stories in the future. As for what they say about members of this site, without patting myself on my back, I'll say that many members here are much more knowledgeable than Chowhounders or the people who write in to chats.

#359 Chef Tom

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:25 PM

I think the point is that if you have the information but someone else breaks it then there was a lost opportunity. So in a way that is "harm" in a not exactly literal sense.

Tom Przystawik
 


#360 DonRocks

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:38 PM

I don't understand how you can either profit or are harmed when you're not the first person to break the news. You have access to alot of information, information that I may find curious. But you said you're not going to profit from such information. Then why are you upset that you don't get to break the news. If someone else breaks the news, how does that harm you? Take PS 7 for example - how does it affect you when someone says it's closing before you do and it's being replaced with XXXX before you do?


That's a good question, Eric. I think the answer is that I'd like donrockwell.com to become the news outlet of choice; not The Washington Post. We are better than they are, in every measurable category (with the huge, noteworthy exception of "circulation"), and are not recognized as such, and I'm sick of it.

There is no way that Sietsema-Carman-Benwick-McIntyre-Yonan-Sagon-Hahn et al is a stronger team than our top 100 members. No way. It's time we're recognized as THE first outlet for restaurant news; not as some "secondary source" to appease once you've broken the news to the Post. We have them beat in every single possible category - depth, breadth, insider knowledge, writing skills, whatever you want to name, we've got them beat - and it's time we're recognized as being the best.

I've worked 7.5 years for this, and I'll take a back seat no longer. To anyone. I've concealed my knowledge in a big way; I'll conceal it no more.

What we could really use is 1) funding and 2) marketing.

If I made you a bullet point list of "things" that donrockwell.com pioneered since 2005, you would shit your pants. It's taken for granted now, but *we* set the industry standards for so many different things that nobody even remembers.

Go back to The Washington Post in the middle of last decade. Look for any mention, anywhere, of Sous Chefs. I remember Michael Hartzer (whom *nobody* had ever heard of at the time - hell, nobody even knew what a sous chef *was*) - he was perhaps the first sous chef in this town who got any credit. Michael was a bad example because he remained underachieving for the duration of his career. Sommeliers? GMs? AGMs? Line Cooks? Sauciers? Who do you think was responsible for taking these previously unknown positions and placing them in the standard dining lexicon? Hell, before we came along even the Chef de Cuisine wasn't all that terribly important. I *militantly* associated one, and only one, Chef de Cuisine with one single restaurant - and NOW look what hell hath wrought.

Think it was TV? Let's all have a look at the shows that were on in the mid-2000s and what they featured.

I'm willing to bet I can list 100 (yes, 100) items that donrockwell.com "discovered" and is singlehandedly responsible for all of these that are now taken completely for granted.

Before Birreria Paradiso came along in the mid 2000s, you couldn't even find a decent beer in this town. I'm not saying "we" are responsible for the implementation of good beer programs (that was distribution more than anything), but we were at the vangard, leading the charge when Thor Cheston came along. And *that's* back when he was at Cafe St. Ex, not Birreria Paradiso.

I'm going to sit down one day and write a list, and people are simply not going to believe it when they see what changes we've been responsible for (until they verify things themselves). donrockwell.com has been a historic website, and I'm not going to let people forget what we've done. We are the single most groundbreaking restaurant website in the history of the internet - BY FAR. It would be nice and convenient for all of these flashy, glitzy, nouveau restaurant websites to bury the origin of what are now widespread internet standards, but I'm not going to let it happen, and if anyone wants to argue me on this point, let's rock and roll, my friends.

If there are any volunteers who'd like to help me, please write me. We have a lot of research to do.

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#361 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:56 PM

There is no way that Sietsema-Carman-Benwick-McIntyre-Yonan-Sagon-Hahn et al is a stronger team than our top 100 members. No way. It's time we're recognized as THE first outlet for restaurant news; not as some "secondary source" to appease once you've broken the news to the Post. We have them beat in every single possible category - depth, breadth, insider knowledge, writing skills, whatever you want to name, we've got them beat - and it's time we're recognized as being the best.

I've worked 7.5 years for this, and I'll take a back seat no longer. To anyone. I've concealed my knowledge in a big way; I'll conceal it no longer.


I agree that collectively the information on this website is much more detailed and accurate than any other news source or website about DC's dining scene. I think that's part of the problem in getting more participation. Some of us don't want to read reviews from unfunny newbies who don't know much about food. I don't mind them but I'm probably not benefiting form them. In any case, I don't know what you agreed to, if anything, in exchange for news. If you're not bound to secrecy, then why not reveal it? Of course you should take into consideration how it affects other people. Businesses are complicated. Even if a owner decides to shut down a business, he might not tell the employees until the last minute for fear of them leaving. On the other hand, the employees want to know as soon as possible so they can line up a new job. There's no way of protecting one without harming the other, and that makes your decision whether to reveal even harder.

#362 darkstar965

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:37 AM

I have to confess that Eric's question was also my question. Still have an unanswered question though. It's not a new one.

Don, as many of us have told you many times, what you've built here with donrockwell.com is amazing. It's truly unique. It's valuable. Using only myself as an example, I don't write or post online anywhere but here. And I do it because for several years I took so much value from it, I felt compelled to give back in whatever small way I could. In no way do I think I'm "top 100" of anything here. I'm just a consumer not attached to the restaurant industry in any way other than spending too much money on it. Hopefully I'm top 4200 or so; think that's roughly how many members there are. :D

The core question is what you want donrockwell.com to be. The answer to that has varied at points over the past few years even since I've been paying closer attention. it's not something you can answer late at night. It's not something to answer when angry.

There are at least three options.

1. An incredible, unique, valuable and seriously robust community of serious and collaborative food people, whether of the industry or advocates of the industry. You've already done this--in spades. You should feel very, very good and proud about that. I suspect you often do; just not right now. You could reorganize as a non-profit to build more leverage (relief/help).

Pros: You can and should feel good about building something so unique; so valuable to so many who appreciate it and appreciate you. Deep satisfaction and the sincere appreciation and admiration of many people.

Cons: Lots of work. Not a lot of cash compensation. But hopefully you don't feel as if people don't appreciate you. I sure do and I'm quite certain I'm very far from alone.

2. A web-based community that throws off some cash for you and for reinvestment to build and innovate. This can be done slowly as you are already with the limited ads and with dcdining.com. Or, it might be possible to do it more quickly and significantly with investors and some serious business planning to best monetize the site.

Pros: Builds on what you've already created and maybe (but not definitely) produces some significant income and wealth.

Cons: Monetizing a website like this isn't easy and it might not work despite investing even more time, energy and money. It might also turn off some (presumably small) number of members who prefer the site not be a business.

3. Become the leading source for restaurant-related news as you've written above. To be honest, I don't think I've read that ever before but clearly it could be done. Clearly you could do it. You have unrivaled relationships, exceptionally deep and comprehensive knowledge and superlative writing skills.

Pros: You're uniquely positioned to be able to do this. It might be very cool. It might be very satisfying. Member and guest counts would probably grow much faster than they do currently.

Cons: The newspaper business sucks these days. Investigative journalism and traditional reporting are tough ways to make a living. Would it change the community in ways you might not favor? One of the main targets of your current ire, the Washington Post, has been struggling mightily for years. Most of its revenue comes not from the news but from other companies they own and investments they've made. And, as Eric said above, there are real tradeoffs to think about. I agree with that point.

Can't try to do 3 things at one time. Even two is usually ill advised. It's easiest and best to pick one direction, get the right kind of help to compensate for weaknesses that you and all of us have, and then execute a solid plan as well as can be done. It depends on what you really want to achieve; what's most important. Maybe that'll be clearer after a good night's sleep. Maybe it can be a New Year's resolution to figure out.

Whatever the future direction is, don't ever forget that you have hundreds (thousands probably) of friends and supporters ranging from leading figures in the food and restaurant business to regular janes and joes like me.

With sincere and profound thanks.

P.S., if you decide to delete your posts above, can delete this one along with 'em.

#363 Lori Gardner

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:47 AM

I agree that collectively the information on this website is much more detailed and accurate than any other news source or website about DC's dining scene. I think that's part of the problem in getting more participation. Some of us don't want to read reviews from unfunny newbies who don't know much about food. I don't mind them but I'm probably not benefiting form them.


I agree with comments above that donrockwell.com is an extremely valuable site that I refer to almost daily. Don has been generous in helping me as a newbie on the board and as a blogger. Frankly, what I find disturbing is Eric's comment about "unfunny newbies who don't know much about food." I already feel self-conscious whenever I post on the board, because I would put myself in the category of a more of a lightweight when it comes to actual food knowledge. I like food, I write about food, but it's more about sharing experiences rather than details about everything I eat or drink. This board should be an online community for all who care about food, and not just those who possess the greatest knowledge.

Don- I join the chorus of those who are grateful to you for what you do. Keep on doing it!

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#364 Escoffier

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:53 AM

This board should be an online community for all who care about food, and not just those who possess the greatest knowledge.


I agree. The only way to gain greater knowledge is to continuously attempt to expand your experiences and break out of the smothering comfort zone as much as possible. I know Eric, I don't think he was knocking newbies per se as much as people who do drive-by's and post nonsense. You'll find as many at DR as you will at every other Internet connected forum in the world.
I've read your blog and hardly think you should be self-conscious about posting.

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#365 Heather

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:13 AM

Darkstar makes a lot of really good points.

Becoming a nonprofit sounds like a great idea, but it's considerably more complicated than most people assume (this site gives a pretty good rundown). There is the need for a board of directors, a charitable or educational mission, tax-exempt status, and transparency.

I assume you have already incorporated, since the site has advertising. Talk to your business advisor about option #2, but that becoming a for-profit operation assumes that members are willing to offer enough free content to make it worthwhile. Investors would want to see potential revenue streams, and relying on occasional content is risky. Option #3 positions you as a journalist, but as he said, reporting and investigative journalism are in deep trouble right now.

There are hundreds of thousands of people trying to figure out how to monetize the web. You have decent resources, and a good business plan should position you to accomplish it.

#366 darkstar965

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:47 AM

I agree with comments above that donrockwell.com is an extremely valuable site that I refer to almost daily. Don has been generous in helping me as a newbie on the board and as a blogger. Frankly, what I find disturbing is Eric's comment about "unfunny newbies who don't know much about food." I already feel self-conscious whenever I post on the board, because I would put myself in the category of a more of a lightweight when it comes to actual food knowledge. I like food, I write about food, but it's more about sharing experiences rather than details about everything I eat or drink. This board should be an online community for all who care about food, and not just those who possess the greatest knowledge...

I try to never interpret what someone else may have meant by something other than trying my best to just take things at face value based on what I read or hear. I couldn't agree with your comment above more. I've also looked at your blog. I'm very glad you're here.

I agree. The only way to gain greater knowledge is to continuously attempt to expand your experiences and break out of the smothering comfort zone as much as possible. I know Eric, I don't think he was knocking newbies per se as much as people who do drive-by's and post nonsense. You'll find as many at DR as you will at every other Internet connected forum in the world. I've read your blog and hardly think you should be self-conscious about posting.

This is the thing. I didn't want to quote the above out of context but it's the "you'll find as many at DR..." line I'd disagree with. I think you actually find many fewer here at DR. Aside from all the great information and everything that we've been rightly raving about for a long time, the nature of the discourse is, I think, different from most "every other internet connected forum in the world." I think this site is much more collegial and civil while strengthened with lots and lots of strong opinions (which are its lifeblood in a sense) that most other sites. Clearly it's not 100% foolproof but the online culture here (if one can say such a thing) is more constructive and productive than nearly all others imho. Big part of the reason why I'm here.

Ah, and I don't so much care but I had to look up to remind myself of the title of this thread. Maybe one of the biggest OT diversions ever? :D

I should have gone back to PS7's before this happened. I should have gone back to PS7's before this happened. Boo. :angry:

#367 Ilaine

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:43 PM

Don, I I I respect you. And I will still respect you in the morning.

I'm just here for the chow.


#368 rbh

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:26 PM

When I try to "recruit" friends to be new members on donrockwell.com, one of the things I cite is the large number of members in the industry. When the site first started up, one of the things I was really fascinated by was being able to talk to owners, GMs, chefs, etc about their restaurants. Folks could say what they liked, what they didn't about establishments ... and I remember that one of the things that Don and others had to do in the early days was to really moderate those discussions so that they didn't devolve into petty insults. And most in the business that are on the site realy want to hear the feedback. Some in the industry, of course, never want to hear anything bad and don't care about "continuous improvement'... and some writing the reviews started making the criticisms personal and perhaps overly sweeping. But overall, I think that this forum that Don has created that allows for the average consumer like me to have discussions with those in the industry (or even to just lurk on such discussions) on an everyday basis is something that's unprecedented. And Don's created an environment where everyone can express themselves... as long as everyone's polite and respectful. Not everyone's a professional writer who can express themselves eloquently or is an expert about food sourcing or wines, but everyone can say what they liked about a meal and what they didn't... and whether they'd go back.

On the list of things for Don.... it'd be an interesting list to see the number of establishments where the "buzz", particularly in the middle of the decade before others caught up, for a restaurant or bar started on dr.com. Some places would get buzz regardless.... but others, would they have been "discovered" if it weren't for having dedicated dr.com members who go to places, like it, have others go, etc. and then there were the planned dinners (I remember for instance one of the early ones at Corduroy) that would allow groups of 60 or more to partake in the festivities at once.

#369 Pool Boy

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:49 AM

Sorry to hear about this place closing. Went there several times (always to dine) and enjoyed it.

Dang.

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