By Douglas Trattner
For one of the first times in his modern professional career, Michael Symon has the unenviable task of shutting down a restaurant. At 3 p.m. today, the staff of Bar Symon in Avon Lake learned that their restaurant — and their jobs — will close for good on October 30.
"This is the first time in our company that we've had to close down a restaurant," said a clearly-wounded Symon. "It's not that the restaurant wasn't doing well or was losing money. It's just that we weren't doing the kind of volume required for that price point."
Symon added that the Bar Symon brand is far from dead: It continues at Quicken Loans Arena and will one day take form elsewhere. "Of all the concepts, Bar Symon is still my favorite. We'll just have to find a better home for it."
Not everybody will be losing their jobs: Bar Symon executive chef Matthew Harlan will move back to Tremont, where he will swap the chef's toque for a necktie as Lolita's general manager. "He enjoys being in the front of the house talking to people," Symon said. "The best GMs are the ones who not only have good understanding about the restaurant business, but also can talk passionately about the food."
Meanwhile, Bar Symon GM Nolan Cleary will relocate to Lola on East Fourth St., where he will join the team as manager. — Douglas Trattner