Accent, Scott Kim's flashy Pan-Asian restaurant in the Uptown development in University Circle, closed after business Saturday night. The restaurant opened last fall in the newly constructed strip by MOCA. Kim also operates Sasa at Shaker Square, which remains business as usual.
"I didn't intend to close it this early, but I think it's a better time for my employees to find new jobs," the ever-considerate Kim explains. "I told my team the bad news Friday night and everybody showed up for work on Saturday — busboys, dishwashers, everybody showed up. I have a really great team — and that's the hardest part."
Kim says that the business and traffic that was projected for Uptown never materialized — or at least, have yet to do so.
"We're not doing the numbers that we were hoping to do. There were a lot of promises made that… I think the area is still in the very early stage. And projects in University Circle move very slowly."
The landlord of the space, MRN Ltd. is in the market for a new tenant to assume Accent's prominent spot. Messages left at that company went unanswered.
As far as Accent goes, Kim is hoping the concept is not entirely dead. He just might relocate the restaurant to a smaller space once the dust settles.
"I think we created a great concept and product there, but it's a very big space. Or maybe the location isn't right," he ponders.
For now, customers can support Kim by dining at his wonderful Shaker Square restaurant Sasa.