Lots of things get announced on Facebook these days, but it's still sad and a bit jarring to see a restaurant announce its final day. Yesterday afternoon, Daisley Gordon turned to social media to let the public know that he's closing his "hidden gem" bistro Marché after a nearly two-and-a-half-year run in the heart of Pike Place Market:
I am writing to tell you that Friday February 28, 2014 will be the final day of service for Marché.
We would like to thank all of those who so enthusiastically supported us in our efforts to contribute something meaningful to the wine bar experience in Seattle and the Northwest.
We are very proud of what was accomplished by our wonderful staff, past & present, who worked so hard every day to deliver the Marché experience.
Come by and see us these next two weeks to celebrate Marche.
Shortly after, I found myself sitting at the Marché bar with Daisley, asking him what made him decide to close up shop. It was just a few years ago he took ownership of the old Campagne space to help transform it into a more casual concept. He told me there was not much to tell — no sort of bad players or anything like that. "It’s just what happens in the restaurant industry," he said, "and it's just based on how busy it was."
It's a funny spot, because you've got loads of tourist traffic in the summer as well as local folks, so there's kind of a balancing act, "which I think we pulled off fairly well." He used the word "magical" to describe the bar area, which he is extremely proud of transforming (there used to be a wall separating the bar fromt the dining room when it was Campagne), calling it the "beating heart" of the place.
Marché is the type of restaurant where locals feel comfortable and tourists get giddy stumbling upong something unexpectly sophisticated. Not able to shake the French DNA from his cooking, Daisley made approachable the food's description and presenation. "At heart, it's the style of cooking that I do and the style of service and people had a great time. I'm happy we gave it a shot and happy with what we did."
Daisley is making himself available to his staff to assist them in finding other work, and also to patrons who want to say their goodbyes before next Friday.
He doesn't know what's going to happen to the space. Details haven't been sorted out. Way too early for that. But it's not like Daisley will be out of work. He's already got his hands full with the restaurant downstairs, Cafe Campagne, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Daisley has been there for about 19-and-a-half of those years and he still loves it.
As to whether or not another restaurant is out of the question: “Not at all. I feel like the future is bright for the café in particular. I feel like certainly part of the soul and the history of what was in this space is certainly alive in the café. You take a swing, you give it your best shot and then you’ve got to just keep moving forward. I love doing this — all of it — and you make a decision and you move ahead and you get excited about all the prospects. And I feel like, as corny as it sounds, the future is bright.”