Plate - the American bistro in Ardmore's Suburban Square - has shut down after a 10-year run.
"We fed everyone on the Main Line," said owner David Mantelmacher on Sunday, calling it a business decision to pull the plug.
He told me that months of lease negotiations broke down recently. He said that he had been paying in the mid-$20,000s a month in rent but that the landlord wanted nearly $10,000 a month more. "That just didn't make sense," he said.
Higher rents squeezed Mantelmacher out of Walnut Street nearly 10 years ago when he closed Circa.
Mantelmacher has hired auctioneer Barry Slossberg to sell the contents at 10 a.m. April 29. The listing reads like this:
Fixtures: Bar stools, Colligates wood dining room chairs, wood top pedestal tables, bar height tables, metal outdoor seating & tables, upholstered benches, Maitre d’ & waitress stations, high chairs, booster seats, designer lighting, custom bar & back bar unit, 2 floor safes, teakwood bench, paintings & wall plaques, lockers, trash cans. More!
Restaurant Equipment: Hoshigaki ice machine (KM1300SAF); Bally walk in refrigerator & freezer; Hobart 40 & 20 quart mixers & attachments, United & Continental upright refrigerator & freezer; Wood Stone oven; Frymaster multi unit with built in filter, Vulcan & Garland gas ranges; Blodgett oven; Vulcan grill & broilers; Hobart meat grinder; S.S. hood & ansel system; Market Forge soup machine; 2 Green machine salad spinners, Bain Maries, steam table; under counter refrigerators; ice cream freezers; beer cases; bar sinks & speed racks; ice bins; 2 & 3 bin sinks; hand sinks, Insinkerator SS 200; Hatco drawer warmers; microwaves; 3 kitchen Aid mixers; Dutchess D-14; scales; SS & butcher block tables; grease traps; Carpigiani lab 1008; Somerset machine; Cuisanart; blender; Bar Maid; 2 Posiflex computerized systems; Vacs, SS shelves; baker’s racks, Metro racks; hot condiment servers; heat lamps; New: Hot Food Box Holding Units; Alto sham digital smoker; Taylor Corp inc cream machine; dip-in ice cream freezer; glass tender plate chiller; Cambro food storage boxes; Metro rolling plate cart; New: glass racks, Adcraft chafing dishes, ss pots, pans, mixing bowls; New: Fortessa bone china: show plates, pasta bowls, deep mom plates, and Duralex Viva drink glasses; Karcher power washers; cutlery; flatware; cutting boards, food stuffs. Sound system with 28 JVL speakers; video close circuit TV hard drive & screen.
I asked Mantelmacher about gift certificates that customers may hold. "I wish I could give you a solid answer" was his reply.
Plate sold electronic gift cards whose value is not readily apparent unless they are scanned. Perhaps the Posiflex point-of-sale system could determine this.
Metro Commercial's Steve Gartner, the leasing agent for Suburban Square, confirms that his company is in talks with several national and regional restaurants to replace Plate, including some new-to-the-region operations. "We've just filled four vacancies with tremendous retailers, now we need to continue to bulk up our food offerings," said Gartner, who said he was not involved in the discussions with Plate.