Pearl's Dive is Officially Done—I leave the country for a few weeks and look what happens. Much to the shock of her customers (and employees, a good percentage of whom live in my apartment building), owner Pearl Yeast suddenly closed, and sold, Pearl's Dive (509 Central NW) after hanging on for almost a month with no liquor license. (The license's official owner transferred it to the Carom Club weeks before the new eatery opened, which no doubt had some effect on Pearl's decision.) Word is that the buyer is a real estate speculator with no background in restaurants to speak of—if anything, he'll lease the space to a new restaurant rather than carry on the Pearl's brand. But who knows? Don't expect much activity in the space for the next couple of months. The Dive's last day of operation was Friday, March 10.
There are a few "sch"-prefixed words that inspire a thought-provoking sort of glee: schmuck, schlitz and, of course, schmaltz. But what in the tap-dancing world is schmaltz? Yummy, gooey gobs of chicken fat used to flavor meat dishes both hot and cold. And with this hand-rendered ingredient being a rarity west of New York, deli owner Chuck Ferry, aka "Chuck the Ownah," may be tapping into an underrated market here in the sweet, spicy Burque.