Matthew Stipe has announced that Banter
(7320 Detroit Ave., 216-801-0305) will close its west-side location after five years on October 11. Many factors, the owner says, went into this decision, not the least of which was the looming winter season in the shadow of the pandemic. But the closure is temporary, he adds, with sights set on a new location in the same neighborhood early next year.
“We’ve done fine on the west side these last five years, but the best we could hope for was kind of breaking even and it didn’t make sense to wish on a star that that’s the best that can happen when, more than likely, the opposite or much worse would end up happening,” he explains.
While he is certainly sad about shuttering his much-adored sausage and poutine bar, Stipe says that the closure allows him to exit in the best possible way, leaving Banter better equipped to come back better than ever.
“We’re kind of in a unique situation,” he reports. “Our lease was up and we were on month-to-month. We got to the point where we were in a good financial position and we don’t have to try and force our way through Covid; we could take a step back and see what this winter really has. I think there’s still a lot of uncertainty ahead. It’s something where we can take our time and reevaluate after the first of the year.”
Banter’s current Gordon Square shop is a challenge right now given its unique layout. Down the road, notes Stipe, customers can expect to see a slightly different design.
“A ton of factors went into this decision, but the fact that we were sort of maxed out on what we could do out of that space came into play,” he says. “I think when our west-side location is reborn, I think it will be reimagined just a little bit.”
The goal, he says, is to remain in Gordon Square.
Banter at Van Aken District is doing great, he reports.