Wednesday, November 28, 2018

"Did a Rave Review Really Shut Down Portland Burger Bar Stanich’s? Maybe It Was the Owner’s Legal Troubles"

For almost a year, the sudden and unexplained closure of one of Portland's favorite burger joints has baffled the city's food scene.

Last week, a food writer claimed responsibility—saying he had "killed" Stanich's on Northeast Fremont Street by naming its cheeseburger the best in America on the website Thrillist.

The confession went viral. But it wasn't the full story.

In fact, court records show that owner Steve Stanich's personal life had been spiraling into chaos long before his restaurant landed on the national radar.
The omission of this parallel story, which Stanich has continued to insist had nothing to do with the closure of his restaurant, suggests either sloppy journalistic practice or a preference for believing, at face value, the kinds of stories men tell each other about themselves.


It’s possible Alexander did not possess the tools or instinct to look into Stanich’s domestic and legal history. He is a James Beard-award winning restaurant critic, not a court reporter. But when you Google Steve Stanich, the third image that appears is his mug shot.
The original article now includes a link to the WWeek article.