Lawrence Rudolph and chef Joe Miller couldn’t make their diner dream come true, as Rudy & Hudson closed quietly last week in Santa Monica. They left a simple note on their Facebook page, “Sadly, Rudy and Hudson is no longer open for business. Thank you for your kindness. J&L” The humble daytime specialist took over the old IHOP on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and 20th, more inland from Santa Monica’s usual Downtown, Main Street, or Third Street Promenade area.
The neighborhood restaurant had a brisk crowd, with a lot of the baked goods and other items produced in house, a big difference from the commissary-driven and premade stuff one might normally find at an IHOP or Norm’s. Prices were reasonable and the service was what might expect at a place that made everything in house, about $10 to $15 for entrees.
Yet, there were invariably Yelpers who complained about prices being higher than the average chain diner. It’s this mentality that’s going to hurt non-chain restaurants from surviving in changing conditions for the dining scene. With higher rents, ingredient-cost, wages, and competition, it’s a challenging situation for any restaurant, even for a well-known chef like Thomas Keller, who’s closing Bouchon in Beverly Hills by the end of the year.
Sadly for chef Joe Miller, who closed Bar Pintxo earlier this year and his namesake Joe’s in Venice a few years back, it’s the last project of his to close. Until Miller can bounce back with another project.