Young and Hungry

Eli Hengst Responds to the Haters about Blue Ridge’s Evolution

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A few weeks back, I wrote about Blue Ridge's switch from a wine-oriented, celebrity chef-driven restaurant to a casual, beer-focused concept with no named toque in the kitchen. The owners carefully explained that they had misread Glover Park and its needs, that they tried to give the 'hood something it didn't want.

Some readers bristled at that notion.  A few thought Blue Ridge failed to connect because, as critics had noted many times over, the food did not live up to the expectations. The subtext here, if I may, is that some readers thought owners Eli Hengst and Jared Rager were passing the blame onto the neighborhood, rather than assuming personal responsibility for their failings. Here was one of the comments, from "trudy":

How arrogant are these guys? Do they really think that Glover Park was too unsophisticated to understand their concept? What a joke. Yeah, really tough to understand the 18 dollar skillet of meatloaf they were slinging. Poor service and bad food does not equal being misunderstood.

Well, yesterday afternoon, Hengst felt compelled to respond to the haters. You can read his commentary at the bottom of the column. You can continue the dialogue there, too.

Or you can send Hengst an e-mail and tell him what you think directly. If you do so at Blue Ridge, he'll even buy you a beer. "I find that people are usually a little more 'constructive' in their criticism when meeting face to face and over a good beer," Hengst e-mails Y&H.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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