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Split leaves Oddfellows a Linda-only joint

By way of Seattle Metropolitan Magazine’s Tablehopper blog, by way of Rebekah Denn, we learn that the power duo behind Oddfellows has broken up. Volunteer Park Cafe co-founder Ericka Burke has pulled out of the Pike/Pine cafe to, according to Burke, focus more on VPC.

Admittedly, we were a little overly breathless when the joint venture of Burke and Capitol Hill legend Linda Derschang was originally announced. Now, Derschang remains as the main driver behind Oddfellows, though Seattle Met notes there is another big name now helping in the kitchen — Sitka and Spruce’s Matt Dillon. That can’t last long, though. Dillon’s likely going to have his hands full with this.

Burke announced her decision to the Seattle Met blogger way back in March — we and everybody else who might care missed it — about a week after The Stranger’s Bethany Jean Clement zigged where you thought she might zag and came out with a particulary negative review of the Oddfellows kitchen.

This comment left on the Stranger piece from Derschang was blunt, to the point, and, now it seems, a sign of things to come.

Unfortunately, I agree with Bethany’s review. I have worked very hard to create a wonderful neighborhood cafe. We’ve hit it right with the interior, I think. We also have a great group of people working at Oddfellows. But the food is not there. My goal is to make changes and improvements on the food every day. I appreciate all the feedback. Bear with us.
Posted by Linda Derschang, Owner on March 11, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Oh, I also disagreed with her. Never had a bad bite at Oddfellows. But I don’t run the place. Linda does. Now I’m curious to know more about untangling the business end of things and how that was or wasn’t resolved.

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seadevi
seadevi
12 years ago

I thought something was up when Linda showed up in the comments agreeing with the Stranger review that the food was not up to par. It’s too bad – the atmosphere and decor at Oddfellows – I credit to Burke.

Katelyn
Katelyn
12 years ago

Oddfellows’ pastries are delicious, but I’ve never had anything else good to eat there, and I’ve tried many of the menu items. I love VPC’s food and atmosphere and appreciated the VPC-influenced aspect of Oddfellows — hope Oddfellows doesn’t turn all “animal heads on the walls” and stuff.

yancy
yancy
12 years ago

Love Oddfellows; have been many times and will continue to go. But I’m definitely not going for the food, though I’ve eaten lots of it and will continue to eat lots of it.

It’s all pretty much okay (thanks for reminding me that the Stranger sometimes runs excellent reviews, j), but none of it’s great. Well, actually, the aioli that came with my fries the other day was great, as was my companions’ s’mores dessert. Otherwise it’s not great, and I swear I’m not just saying that because I <3 Linda and will side with her over j any day.

I also agree, though, that it would be a shame if this change leads to “heads on the wall and stuff.”

TJ
TJ
12 years ago

It’d be too bad if a constructive review – intended to compliment the best about a popular new place and point out how it could be better – had a negative outcome. Some businesses have to pay major dollars to find out how they’re failing to meet some customers’ needs.

There are two ways to respond to shortfalls: constructive and destructive. I’ve never been there, but just from walking by I could see that Oddfellows has a good thing going; hopefully the opportunity provided by the review doesn’t cloud that for them.

Roy
Roy
12 years ago

Who cares who owns it?

The food is Ok, the atmosphere is relaxed, sort of old Pioneer Square copy.

The service is good, hate the benches, snagged my new pants, and why should i give a shit who makes a profit?

Need plants — FERNS GALORE, REAL TREES….

josh
josh
12 years ago

why do you think the look and feel was Burke & not Dershang’s? I assumed otherwise.