Foodblogger Catfight: Eater vs. Down By the Hipster
The world of restaurants, be it chefs or food writers, has always been fantastically bitchy: remember Jeffrey Chodorow's taking out a ranty full-page ad in the Times in response to Frank Bruni's no-star review of his Kobe Club? Thank goodness it's continuing the grand tradition, even on the web. Yesterday Eater, the restaurant blog that's part of the Curbed Network (Curbed, Racked, Eater), published by former Gawker Lockhart Steele, posted a rumination on their competitor, Down By the Hipster. Yeah, they got a little catty! "[Blogger] Scott Solish isn't making money on DBTH, has a day job, and has begun to talk of such things as book deals and joint ventures...Are Down By the Hipster's best days behind us?" DBTH's equally snide response ("Lil' [Ben Leventhal of Eater] secretly seethed, desperate to know why anyone dared challenge his authority as the ultimate insider") was inevitable. We'd go so far to suggest that public bickering isn't becoming to either party, but we're glad they did: the exchange is this morning's guilty pleasure...
Writes Ben Leventhal from Eater: "Such blogs [like Down by the Hipster] tend to fade, giving way to bloggers' day jobs, kids, or boredom. And it tends to happen right around the one-year marker."
Yeah, not like SERIOUS, career bloggers!
DBTH, written and co-owned by Curbed alum Scott Solish, blazed itself into the blogsphere... just over twelve months ago. Like the great indie blogs that came before, it was an instant mix of good intel, access and attitude. With very strong ties to the hotel biz—and also, somewhat randomly, to the nightclub Cain—DBTH has been a machine, and of late has upped its postcount...
But, Solish isn't making money on DBTH, has a day job, and has begun to talk of such things as book deals and joint ventures. Plus, the presence of a new, way off-brand, contributor suggests he's getting tired of the grind. So, it's time to put it out there: Are Down By the Hipster's best days behind us?
Meanwhile, Solish of Down by the Hipster responds that the above post was "pretty much out of left field. But then again, so is the writer, Ben Leventhal."
We even spent some QT together, buying Lock a beer and watching his murse for hours. But while we enjoyed ourselves, Lil BL secretly seethed, desperate to know why anyone dared challenge his authority as the ultimate insider. But the anger and fear is justified. Sitting in that lonely FiDi apartment, seeing Grub Street, Guest of a Guest, and just about everyone else with access to the internet scoop him must drive him batty.
Pinkberry, Momofuku and Shake Shack couldn't open enough locations to keep him on the inside. Frank Bruni only only takes him on review dinners every so often. So what is he to do?
Solish says that Leventhal emailed him regarding the public slapdown, "It is what it is...i just gave you more explanation that any one else gets, because you're a friend. don't do the blog if you can't be the guy."
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