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Aaaargh! Did you see last week's TF? Côté Sud ("South Side"), Hillcrest. Great place. Only problem: It seems to have gone south, belly up, closed down. They put a sign on the door saying they'd be back by the weekend. Hasn't happened yet. Pity, because they were a fun place, and did a good Niçoise salad. The complaints you often heard were that there wasn't enough staff to handle the crowds. Somebody also said they were wrecked when their Groupon deal succeeded like crazy. Had to serve too many loss-leaders. And you just know each closing is a small death. The angst, the struggle to turn things right, the realization you're not going to make it. Even though you know you've created a kind of ecosystem, a refuge that people dream about all week, take their heartthrobs to, or just drop in at, to maybe settle the nerves after a job interview, or an argument with a partner that went further than you meant.

Sigh. The good news is that, right across the road, the opening shot of another continental invasion has been fired. Vergnano is a hotshot Italian coffee/panini place that sure serves a good coffee. Brought all the way from Italy, the town of Turin (or, if you watched the last winter Olympics, "Torino." Gimme a break. Like saying "Paree" instead of Paris, if you ask me.) Meantime, come back, South Side! We need you! Half the point is a feller and his rilly can look cool, sitting there exchanging Deep Thoughts, out on the sidewalk.

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