What's going on at Commonwealth? Only open since March, the ambitious neighborhood restaurant on Washington Ave has been closed for more than a week with a mysterious "electrical problem," but area residents are beginning to suspect it's gone for good.
The first piece of evidence is that the restaurant never posted its Houston Restaurant Weeks menu, which cuts it off from the potential revenue that participating in the event could generate. Furthermore, no signs of activity existed at the restaurant Thursday evening, which was locked up tight (although tables are chairs are still present in the dining room).
CultureMap called both chef Michael Sanguinetti and the restaurant's marketing coordinator about the restaurant's status but has yet to receive a response. The chef has previously announced plans to open a second, related concept called Black Orchid that would feature both a cocktail lounge and nightly tasting menus. Whether those plans are also scuttled remains to be seen.
Update: Owner Thomas Kolodziej tells CultureMap that Commonwealth has closed temporarily for restructuring. “We want something that’s a little less expensive, a little more fun,” Kolodziej says.
Part of that restructuring includes the departure of Sanguinetti. “Michael went too high end, too fine dining,” Kolodziej says. Still, he’s confident the restaurant can move forward with its new direction.
Calling Commonwealth’s original incarnation “too once a month,” he says the reborn restaurant will be a place that’s more accessible, with bigger portions and more value.
“You live and you learn,” he concludes.