Monday, August 6, 2012

Common Table Will Shut Down Wednesday

After less than two years, the restaurant closes its doors due to financial difficulties.

Posted By on Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 4:49 PM

The downtown non-profit, Common Table, will close the restaurant Wednesday after less than two years of providing a place for rich and poor to eat around a shared table. 

The restaurant’s unique operating model—it offered free meals to those who could not afford one—meant razor thin operating margins, said Common Table Executive Director Bob Pearson in an interview with the Source in April.

Add to that a very difficult season last fall as the old Penney Galleria building, in which the restaurant is located, underwent several months of renovation and construction. Pearson said people avoided the restaurant because they weren’t sure that it was open and had to walk through scaffolding and other construction to access the front door.

By the end of fall, the restaurant was nearly broke, said Pearson.

But then the scaffolding came down. Common Table hired a new chef. The non-profit revamped the menu. Pearson was hopeful the restaurant was on the way to more stable financial footing.

It was not to be.

After learning recently that more building renovations would shut down regular operations for the next four months, the restaurant could simply not weather through, according to a Common Table news release sent Monday.

The restaurant will hold a “celebration of life” on it’s last day offering a pay-as-you-are-able style, serving patrons until the food and drink is gone, according to the release.

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