McKinney Avenue restaurant Barter is closing this weekend, giving Uptown denizens notice of their last chance for a serving of the restaurant's signature poutine. An announcement was made on Facebook, inviting customers to "come see us this weekend one last time! You will see more of us in the future, but for now this is goodbye."
Chef Andrew Dilda confirmed that the restaurant was closing but said they still weren't exactly sure when the final meal would be. "We'd like to do Sunday brunch, but we're still not sure at this point," he says. "It'll be either Saturday or Sunday." UPDATE: The restaurant will be closed on Saturday but open on Sunday with a final farewell brunch. UPDATE UPDATE: The restaurant ran out of food on Friday night and is closed for good. No brunch.
Barter opened in December 2013 in a troubled space on McKinney at Hall. It premiered as Private Social, the restaurant designed to showcase Top Chef contestant Tiffany Derry. After Derry left, it became the showplace for colorful chef Najat Kaanache, whose tenure lasted less than a year.
Owners Patrick and Michael Halbert then drafted consulting chef Tim Love and Dilda, whose youthful menu, featuring trendy dishes such as poutine, managed to accumulate a following. Barter also had a popular Sunday brunch.
Dilda says he's sad to say goodbye because of the team he's built in the kitchen. "When we found out, our disappointment wasn't that we lost our job but that we don't get to cook or hang out together," he says.
He points to the neighborhood as being difficult for any serious dining option — "Uptown wants cheaper," he says — but he's already fielding offers and anticipates some time off with his family. He'll actually kind of miss the poutine days.
"When we started doing poutine, I admit I hated it," Dilda says. "But we had fun with it."