The first reported restaurant closure of 2016 is a big one.
Jimmy Kristo, owner of Jimmy’s on the Park at 706 DeMun Avenue in Clayton, announced this morning that his namesake restaurant had closed after 21 years. The last day of service was January 3.
Kristo informed employees and vendors of the closure on Monday. The long-time restaurateur told SLM that a combination of flat sales and a rent increase led to the demise. "With 6200 square and 150 seats, Jimmy's is a hungry machine," Kristo said, still speaking in the present tense. "It would have helped if we were located on the main drag, but we're not."
The restaurant was best known for the hundreds of caricatures that lined the walls, the sidewalk patio, Sunday jazz brunch, the 3 courses/$25 prix fixe dinners on Sunday/Monday evenings, and "pasta crunchers," the fried-then-spiced linguine sticks that graced every table.
In a short note on the café’s website, Kristo said "To The Hundreds Of Employees That I Have Had The Privilege Working Along Side I Thank You For Your Hard Work And Dedication And I Wish You The Best.”
The note also mentioned that any outstanding gift certificates would be refunded. "Although I had a plan in place for 2016, starting with some remodeling," he said, "the deal fell apart just before the new year. Regardless, I made sure I held back the money we collected on gift cards...just in case."
Now a veteran restaurateur for hire, Kristo was able to find a bit of humor in the closure. "For the first time in a long time," he said, "I may be signing my name to the back of a check once a week than hundreds of times on the front side."