"This will be our last weekend at Barter," started the Facebook post that announced the second restaurant to close at 3232 McKinney Ave. The address was first home to the much-hyped Private Social, which opened in 2011 and closed two years later. Barter had an even shorter run. The closures are juxtaposed with the success of neighboring Del Frisco's Grille, which opened in 2012 and keeps kicking out steaks.
While Private Social garnered a lot of attention from the press (red carpet opening, four-star reviews), Barter received more timid coverage. Aside from the many blog posts announcing its opening -- most touting chef Tim Love's involvement with the menu -- Barter operated mostly under the radar.
The DMN did issue a one-star review not long after the opening. D Magazine also published a brief write-up by then Editor Christina Daglas. Dining with her four friends, Deglas noted a lackluster meal with forgetful service. When she bumped into an editor for Esquire on her way out the door, and subsequently joined him for a second meal, she observed picture perfect plating and plenty of doting.
That sort of pick-and-choose service can get restaurateurs in trouble when customers read reviews that don't match up with their own experiences. Either way, Barter is gone, and there's a new restaurant space available on McKinney Avenue. I'm pulling for Italian. Something simple with great ingredients and great service that everyone can consistently enjoy. Or maybe a burger place. We need those.