So many were *shocked* when Gilmore’s in West Chester closed. I will note, however, that some of their real people reviews had been slipping. And I never got how Peter Gilmore was quoted on his website as saying “I didn’t intend Gilmore’s to be a destination restaurant, I wanted it to be a comfortable family restaurant.”
I had positive dining experiences at Gilmore’s, but I will admit I did not dig how restrictive it was as far as the seatings and the plate sharing fee was obnoxious. It was not, however, not family casual. Ever.
It is sad that they are closed, but many were left with unused gift certificates. (And I know a place to use those gift certificates and gift cards not yet posted anywhere else!) West Chester Dish has a post about this and the fabulous Michael Klein of the Philadelphia Inquirer had this to say in his Insider column:
……And now it seems as if anyone holding a gift certificate to Gilmore’s restaurant is out of luck.
The restaurant closed after dinner July 14.
On July 16, owner Peter Gilmore told me that he decided to close the restaurant only days before because he had grown tired and wanted to “go out on top.”
On July 18, he notified customers of the closing in an email that concluded: “If you have any inquiries, please send them in writing to: Gilmore’s Restaurant, 133 East Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380.”
On July 20, I spoke to him about gift certificates and he told me that John Brandt-Lee, who owns Avalon in the borough, would honor them at 50 percent of face value. But, I replied, if you’re going to give refunds, why would anyone take up Brandt-Lee’s generous offer?
Gilmore said he would proceed on his attorney’s suggestions.
In the last 10 days, Gilmore has not returned subsequent calls and emails. People have posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page to inquire about gift certificates; there’s been no response.
Those with gift certificates are indeed owed money, but if history is any guide, they’re better off using their card as an ice scraper this winter.
When a restaurateur truly cares about his customers, he announces a closing well in advance – much as Gilmore’s former longtime boss, Georges Perrier, did. Give those with gift cards a chance to use them. Bask in the glow a little.
Sadly it seems that perhaps Gilmore’s is yet another victim of the current economy, doesn’t it? Even more sad is the playing dodge ball about gift certificates or gift cards. And Chef Gilmore remarked in his final interview with West Chester Dish :
“We’ve loved working in West Chester, it’s a great town, it’s been a great run. It’s time to make a change in lifestyle. For now, I’ll be sitting by the pool drinking a scotch and soda deciding what move I want. Who knows what will happen in the future,”
Considering the apparent gift card/gift certificate debacle, that comment is a definite ouchie now. Yikes.
YELLOW SPRINGS INN!!!
Yellow Springs Inn located at 1657 Art School Road, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania 19425 ( phone (610) 827-7477 ) is accepting the gift cards and gift certificates which are unused at 50% of their original face value.
A little birdie told me about this, so I did phone Chef – Owner Charlie Orlando to verify this personally. Charlie verified that YES Yellow Springs Inn would like the former patrons of Gilmore’s in West Chester to know that if you have any gift certificates from Gilmore’s you would like to use and not waste, Yellow Springs Inn is happy to accept those gift certificates at 50% of their original value.
Yellow Springs can do what Gilmore’s never could: they can be BOTH a destination and a comfortable family restaurant. I would not suggest insulting Chef or staff by showing up in a ripped t-shirt and jean shorts, but you can come comfortably attired and enjoy a wonderful evening on the porch or in one of their dining rooms. Yellow Springs Inn is BYOB.
If you enjoyed dining at Gilmore’s, you will love Yellow Springs Inn. And truthfully, I think Charlie Orlando is a better chef. And the historic village in which the Yellow Springs Inn sits is also amazing!
No disrespect to other restaurants offering to use Gilmore’s gift cards, but if I were you I would use those gift cards or gift certificates up at Yellow Springs Inn.
Tell Yellow Springs Inn you read about this on Chester County Ramblings.