“I was awakened this morning by a text saying that the investor changed the locks on the restaurant,” reports GM David Hridel. “I flew down to the restaurant to see what was going on.”
It’s a shocking state of affairs, to say the least, for the four-month-old restaurant. That investor, named for the first time by Hridel as Tim Kopp, owner of Ohio Valley Supply, told his partners that “he was done.” He had a locksmith change the locks on the building, effectively locking out all staffers, including chef partners Cory and Rebecca Hess.
“My number one concern is that I have servers’ and bussers’ and bartenders’ tips sitting in a drawer I can’t get into,” Hridel says.
Hridel says that he and the entire staff were blindsided, and that the numbers were right where they needed to be for a young restaurant.
“In my opinion the place was successful, we were building momentum,” he says. “We were paying the bills, the staff was always paid, there was always money in the account. I think [Kopp] expected downtown East Fourth numbers. I’m actually shocked for the first time in a while that this has gone the way that it has.”
Chefs Cory and Rebecca Hess, who have been working and waiting for the restaurant to open for more than three years, are naturally crushed, says Hridel, who is speaking on their behalf.
“They took it really hard,” he says. “It’s still very fresh.”
Calls to Kopp at Ohio Valley Supply went unanswered. The most likely scenario in this case would be that the main investor would either sell the building to another operator or lease the space, though it’s too early to know what will happen next.
We'll update this page as facts come in.