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Nov 28, 2007

Restaurant Starlu Closing Dec 22

Variousgolds_2 Sad newsRestaurant Starlu is closing.
Good news.  Sam Poley is planning something new for soon.  It won't surprise me if the new thing is just as good, food wise, and perhaps even more fun (and smaller) and fully sustainable as a business.

See below for the nice letter from Sam that went out today (pix in margin from me).  Of note, his appeal for folks to hire his staff.

Oh, and one of my fave Starlu posts, with pix.


To our friends and guests,
The anatomy of goodbye is complicated by emotion.  First, there is the news that you are going away; then the explanation and the questions about why; and lastly there is the departure and all its inherent finality.
It is with great sadness that I share with you all that December 22 will be our last day to serve you.  We have truly enjoyed the opportunity, but we can no longer sustain the effects of factors we cannot control.  There are no fingers to point and there are myriad contributing components to this decision.  Just know that Stephanie & I and everyone involved including our staff, property management and building ownership have done everything we can think of to avoid this outcome.  At some point though, no matter how great the highlights, you need to realize that there needs to be a solid foundation of routine business that simply is not coming in our door.
Dessertsbefore800 We will be open over the next few weeks and hope that you will visit over that time so that we can say thank you in person.  For us, this is more than the dissolution of a business; this is the disassembly of a sort of family and such things need closure.  We look forward to have the final laugh, smile and chat with each of you.
We want to go out with the same grace with which we entered - we do not want to be the place that suddenly went dark with no explanation.  Help us, if you will, use these last weeks to accomplish that goal.
In conjunction with our melancholy, we'd like to share with you the joy of remembering our successes.  In our 3+ years in business we:
  • helped raise over $43,000 for charity through our Bottles of Change program,
  • bought holiday gifts for children living under the auspices of Children's Home Society,
  • raised awareness of dozens of great organizations doing wonderful work in Durham and beyond,
  • received numerous accolades generated by our diners attesting to their appreciation of what we do,
  • and had the pleasure of getting to know so many wonderful people.
As a business owner I enjoy as friends the people I am fortunate enough to work with, and I care deeply about their futures.  So I say the following with all seriousness - please hire my staff.  These are good and capable folks who do a great job in a professional manner.  If you have, or know of any, positions available that would be suitable then please let me know so I can share this information with them.
There are two practical matters that need addressing.  First, we will be liquidating our wine inventory.  If you have an interest then please let me know at sam@starlu.com and I'll be glad to discuss this with you.  Second is gift certificates.  As the old saying goes, "Smoke 'em if ya got 'em," or, put otherwise, us them now.
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you.  We could not have done it without you and we hope to do it again - soon.  We'll be back, and when we are, we hope you'll join us then as well.
I'd like to leave you all with a closing thought taken from the obituary of a customer we deeply miss:
"Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings.  Only one thing endures, and that is character." - Horace Greely
Samtheman800_2 Honestly, thanks for the memories and we hope to see you soon.

Starlu is located at:

3211 Shannon Road
Suite 106 Durham, NC 27707
Phone: 919.489.1500
Fax: 919.489.6390

04:59 PM in News | Permalink


This restaurant owner sounds delightful . . . if I lived there, I would drop on by for a bite.

Posted by: Lisa | Nov 28, 2007 9:01:21 PM

I wish The Flying Burrito's owner could have sent out such a letter, to the people who loved and patronized his restaurant for so many years. Instead, we got nothing. Yes, I am a little bitter :-)

Posted by: Pinky | Dec 2, 2007 8:52:01 PM

Pinky, re: the Flying Burrito -- "Bitter. It isn't just for breakfast anymore."

[my apologies for the lunatic punctuation, above]

Lisa -- we would have loved to have you!

Posted by: Phil | Dec 2, 2007 10:07:25 PM

Wait . . . the Flying Burrito closed? Dawg! Hey you foodies, what's the deal with the Ethiopian places now? What's the good one? What's the less good one?

This is a touching letter about Starlu. Man, that restaurant business. That's a tough road. Let's do hope the owner can start something new, and maybe hire back the staff!

Posted by: Elrond Hubbard | Dec 5, 2007 9:08:57 PM