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Curiouser: Restaurant Closed Yesterday to Rebrand, Reopen

Written By Scott Joseph On August 6, 2014

Blackfin sign

As was reported first here yesterday, Blackfin restaurant in Maitland closed Tuesday after only five weeks in operation. Now a handwritten sign, above, has been placed on the front door stating that the restaurant will reopen “in a few weeks.” This much is clear: it will not reopen as Blackfin.

That brand is held by Eric Kovar, who partnered in the restaurant with Brandon Bizar, who still held the lease from his previous restaurant in the space, SoNapa. As I reported, Bizar sent an email to Kovar stating that keeping the restaurant open was not financially viable. Some of the now-out-of-work staffers have told me that they thought the restaurant was doing good business, but none had direct knowledge of profit and loss statements. As several commenters on the original article have pointed out, a new business should be prepared to operate at a loss for a certain period of time before making a profit. Closing after five weeks and claming it is because the restaurant is not profitable seems ludicrous. Bizar did not return my phone call for a statement.

What’s becoming more apparent, based on conversations with some of those staffers, is that there were personality differences between the two partners that prevented them from continuing. Call them irreconcilable differences. 

So, apparently this is the game plan: The restaurant will stay closed for the next several weeks while Bizar and some staff members he has asked to stay on work on a new concept, including a new name and menu. The “few weeks” scrawled on the sign will likely be at least a month and a half. Blackfin could return, too, but definitely not in that location. In fact, don’t look for it anywhere near there — certainly not in Maitland.

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