Sunday, March 30, 2008

Recently Closed: Gianni's, Clear Creek Seafood

It always saddens me when I see good quality independent restaurants go belly up. Especially when they drew crowds, sometimes causing a wait. How can it be they close then? There are many reasons of course, mostly on the business side, and so speculation is a fools chase. From time to time, I'll call out some closings, if for no other reason than to reminisce a bit.

Gianni's was an "Italian pizza" type place in Watauga at US 377 and Mid Cities. The pizza is not the more known New York style, but the kind you would get in Europe. Generally coal fired, and served individually. You don't pick the slices up, but rather eat them with a knife and fork. A very thin crust, with gooey cheese and your choice of toppings define the type. The owner of Gianni's learned his craft in South America (I think Argentina if I remember right). It was a quick service restaurant, where you order at the front and they'd bring it to you. They even had live folk singers most nights. A fun place that was quite good. A place to take guests. It's now occupied by OC Burger, which I've been to as well, and will discuss at another time. There are a few other "Italian Pizza" style places that have cropped up in the last couple of years, so maybe the competition was too fierce for a relative niche market. Hard to say.

I was even more surprised to see Clear Creek Seafood already gone. Clear Creek was located in Keller, south of Keller Blvd on US 377. There was always a crowd, and it was easy to understand why. Quite simply, this was the best Cajun influenced seafood you could find in the NE Tarrant area. Way better than corporations like Pappadeaux's or Copelands, Clear Creek always had fresh fish, great seasonings, very tasty dirty rice and ice cold beer. And for me, being a music nut, my fondest memory of the restaurant was the Saturday afternoon me and Mrs. Jose were there eating to the sounds of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme". It was a sublime moment. Ruined, of course, by the trailer trash that came in afterwards and demanded they turn off that "awful music" so we could listen to them yak incessantly instead. Now that I think of it, bad karma is what closed this place down. You do not --- ever --- turn off the mighty Coltrane. The building remains empty, the ghost of Coltrane apparently well entrenched. Perhaps waiting for an Italian themed jazz bistro?

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