It's been 20 months since Lloyd Boothe closed the doors to his upscale bistro in downtown Mission. Melbee's was a sophisticated piano bar and dining room where patrons could, and did, sip martinis and sing along to Cole Porter tunes
. If you peer in through the windows today, you can see that the tables are still cloaked in white and still have water glasses at the place settings, as if the place might re-open for dinner tonight.
Melbee's might have been too swanky for this particular stretch of Johnson Drive; the closest neighboring restaurant is Town Topic, which is currently offering a double hamburger for 99 cents. But the vacant space -- still being leased by Jerry Gaines of Block & Company -- would make a nice little neighborhood dining spot for some clever entrepreneur. The porthole in the front door practically cries out: seafood!