I loved how the sun lit up the windows of the ostentatiously classy restaurant come wine bar on St. Andrew’s Street in Dublin called Stanley’s. The bleached turquoise exterior with golden letters spelled understated chic.
A few doors down from the expensive Trocadero, the location seemed perfect for such a place.
It opened about 2 years ago. Today I found that it’s been replaced with a place called Kathmandu, a gerrish, bright orange Nepalese eatery. Full of people.
Stanley’s was never full of people.
Why? Where did they go wrong? Where didn’t they go right, more like? The broadly positive Irish Times review and then another even more positive one? The perfect location? The classy interior in modern blues and grays? What more could people want?
Or is it maybe that classy is old-fashioned. Maybe these things don’t sell anymore.
I love old books, films, chandeliers, even houses. Often these things sell at a perplexing yet welcome discount. Has it always been this way – that old things are cheap?
Writing up my list of the Christmas gifts I want to give, I realised that I strongly prefer older things. I think it’s from reading too many XIX century novels…
Which would you rather get for Christmas, a new iPhone or an antique chandelier?
It turns out that the iPhone is about five times the price. This raises another point: did old things always go at a discount?
And finally, maybe that’s why Stanley’s closed down. Perhaps their bet was on people’s vanity, a desire for a classy place to shorten the protracted winters nights. But it never caught on.
Trying to be old without actually being old may be a hard sell.