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Old 10-10-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
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Getting cookware from closed down restaurants?

Hi all, first post here!

So I'm a recent college grad planning to move out of my parents I remember house, and I'm excited to finally start stocking my own kitchen!

I remember reading in Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential that one should try buying cooking utensils from restaurants that have recently closed down. Has anyone done this or know how to go about it? I can't seem to figure it out. Googling "recently closed restaurants" in my area doesn't really turn up anything. I just need some high-quality, thick-bottomed pots and pans, and maybe even silverware for relatively cheap.

I have already picked out a good chef's knife and a cast iron pan, as those are items I'm willing to invest a fair amount of money in.

Suggestions?

General tips on starting my first collection of cookware also appreciated.

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Old 10-10-2011, 09:52 PM   #2
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Just seek out the restaurant supply store in your area. They already have pretty good prices on professional grade equipment. I buy lots of stuff there.

For used stuff, have you checked Craigslist?
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:08 PM   #3
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Just seek out the restaurant supply store in your area. They already have pretty good prices on professional grade equipment. I buy lots of stuff there.

For used stuff, have you checked Craigslist?
I second the restaurant supply store suggestion. There are several in my rural area and I've purchased lots of wonderful items.

Another area I've found to be quite "fertile" are resale stores such as thrift and consignment stores, especially if you can identify an item. I bought two perfect madeline pans for 25 cents each at a thrift store because they had no idea what they were. Salvation Army and Goodwill have been fantastic sources.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions! I found a restaurant supply store in my area that seems pretty popular with home cooks too. I'm gonna go check it out.

Good call on the thrift stores. Definitely hoping for some bargains.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:30 PM   #5
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I've done the opposite. When I lived in Florida, I'd purchased quite a few items from restaurant supply stores. I did a lot of cooking, in those days, for extended family. I had a huge garage sale when I moved out of the area. I only advertised it as usual, didn't mention that there would be a bit of restaurant quality pots, knives, etc. One man who owned a restaurant came and spent a mint. Of course he got a lot. Knives, pots (two huge industrial stock-pots) and utensils.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:40 PM   #6
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I've done the opposite. When I lived in Florida, I'd purchased quite a few items from restaurant supply stores. I did a lot of cooking, in those days, for extended family. I had a huge garage sale when I moved out of the area. I only advertised it as usual, didn't mention that there would be a bit of restaurant quality pots, knives, etc. One man who owned a restaurant came and spent a mint. Of course he got a lot. Knives, pots (two huge industrial stock-pots) and utensils.
I bought 40 bakery quality springform pans, many moons ago. The restaurant supply house bought them back from me when I got back out of the business 4 years later, for 1/2 what I spent for new.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:46 PM   #7
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Good deal! One thing that happened is that I had this humongous cast aluminum stock pot that was showing some wear and tear. I stuck it out and would have been happy to get a buck or two for it. That just isn't my mom's way. She took it in on the second day and scrubbed the ... I don't know? Is there a word for the sort of oxidation on aluminum? Anyway she scrubbed it to perfect and this restaurant owner paid more for it than I'd bought it for! It really was HUGE. Many gallons. I'm trying to think of how many lobsters we boiled in it once, but I have 3 sibs, their spouses, kids and cousins. So you know it was pretty big given that there was a lobster for each plus potatoes, onions, and ears of corn. The guy walked away from the sale feeling like he'd done very well.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:21 PM   #8
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I have bought loads of cookware from a restaurant supply store. They also buy from closing restaurants and have a large used section.

They sold me some of my best quality used cookware for just pennies on the dollar.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:13 PM   #9
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I live near SF, so the restaurant supply stores are actually quite expensive compared to Amazon. Unless they're on clearance, which they almost never are. Restaurants closing down have their equipment sold through brokerages that know the value of what they're selling, so I haven't been able to score a bargain that way either. The American Cancer Society Discovery Shops sometime have pretty good deals and all look pretty new or well-cared for. Otherwise, I'd say price compare and go loaded with lots of stackable coupons (a la Kohl's).
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:31 PM   #10
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I'm a huge fan of Amazon; whatever I'm thinking of buying, I look there first. I, too, did not find restaurant supply stores a bargain, which is why I got more for the stock pot than I paid for it!! (Amazon wasn't invented then).
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