Bricco closes completely in downtown Akron; new upscale restaurant tenant sought

The house at 1 W. Change St. in downtown Akron that was as soon as residence to Bricco is now vacant.

Bricco downtown, which was shuttered for all however 5 months of the pandemic, has closed completely. Banners on the constructing at Most important and Change streets say the house is out there.

Constructing proprietor Jeffrey O’Neil stated from his residence in California on Tuesday that it was restaurant proprietor Dave Sharp’s resolution to not reopen Bricco.

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“He tried opening briefly after the unique mandated shutdown, but it surely simply did not go effectively. Staffing was an issue, and enterprise was a problem as effectively,” O’Neil stated.

Staffing points and issues with clients associated to COVID-19 created early challenges, Sharp stated.

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“The issue is it is laborious to rent only one or two individuals once you’re quick, however to have to rent 30 or 40 to open up a brand new restaurant, it is simply not possible now,” stated Sharp, who took over possession of Bricco downtown in addition to three different Bricco places from earlier proprietor Dave Glenny in Could 2019.

He stated he is gotten just one back-of-the-house software for his eating places within the final 18 months, which makes the prospect of shedding a prepare dinner “scary.” Sharp, who additionally owns Pub Bricco within the Merriman Valley, Bricco Kent and Bricco West on the Vacation Specific Resort in Fairlawn, stated his different three Bricco places are totally staffed.

That is after he skilled 300% turnover together with his Pub Bricco workers over a three-month interval from June by September.

Bricco downtown introduced some distinctive challenges, Sharp stated.

“It is too massive of a location, and you may’t maintain it full sufficient,” the restaurateur stated of the 6,500-square-foot house. “I would not go into a brand new restaurant like that, that massive. I took it over, and it was superb when it was at its peak. The issue is there’s no person downtown” so far as clients.

After the preliminary pandemic shutdown, he reopened Bricco downtown for dinner and bar service in June 2020 and continued by August 2020. Restaurant staff obtained a number of pushback on the time from clients about carrying masks, Sharp stated, and dinner gross sales have been low.

“We had points with masks mandates, individuals refusing to put on masks, individuals not leaving [the bar] after we have been closed,” which led to his front-of home workers quitting, Sharp stated.

Bricco downtown closed to the general public in August 2020, and provided carryout just for a couple of months, which by no means took off. Sharp closed the restaurant operation that November.

Property proprietor O’Neil, who owns 4 downtown buildings, harassed that he hasn’t evicted any of his tenants who’ve skilled difficulties through the almost two-year pandemic.

“If individuals could not make the lease, we simply saved them on and tried to maintain them open and working,” O’Neil stated.

“It did not appear to make any sense to kick individuals out for one thing that was past their management” and depart empty areas, he stated.

O’Neil and Sharp had a rent-free settlement at Bricco downtown that prolonged for about 1½ years in hopes that the restaurant might reopen. Below that association, Sharp paid the tenant’s share of actual property taxes, insurance coverage and upkeep prices.

“Jeff was nice. Jeff was very accommodating throughout this and understanding about what was happening. I’ve obtained nothing however love for Jeff O’Neil,” Sharp stated.

In June, Sharp informed the Beacon Journal that Bricco downtown would stay closed for the foreseeable future, as he could not discover 20 certified staff to reopen it. He additionally did not assume there was sufficient enterprise downtown for one more restaurant on the time.

His newest rent-free extension expired Sept. 1, and several other weeks earlier than the deadline, Sharp mentioned with O’Neil reopening in addition to some reworking plans for Bricco downtown. In the long run, although, he determined it wasn’t going to work out.

“It is simply the enterprise wasn’t there, and the staffing wasn’t there,” Sharp stated.

Different difficulties with reopening Bricco

In June 2020, Sharp stated in an interview that he misplaced “a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars}” in gross sales because of the Most important Road reconstruction earlier than the pandemic hit. Then, the restaurant sustained no less than $10,000 in harm in Could 2020, when the constructing was vandalized throughout unrest downtown following a peaceable protest of George Floyd’s dying.

Property supervisor Joe Santoferraro described the influence of the extended Most important Road building and the pandemic as a “double whammy” for Bricco.

“The opposite drawback was building [on Main Street] was such a multitude, we’d lose energy intermittently, we’d lose telecommunication,” Sharp stated.

Santoferraro’s firm, JVS Development, did a $500,000 restoration of the constructing that included constructing the unique house for Treva restaurant, which opened in 1998. After Treva closed, Glenny opened Bricco there in 2003.

Constructing proprietor O’Neil stated he is had some curiosity within the former Bricco house however “nothing that appears like a brilliant nice match but.”

He desires to see one other upscale restaurant that serves each lunch and dinner within the house.

“The whole lot is designed effectively. We had skilled kitchen designers are available and do all of the eating places in my buildings,” O’Neil stated.

He additionally owns the Most important Road buildings housing Cilantro restaurant, DaVinci’s and the previous Woody’s bar. The Boiling Home restaurant is also positioned in the identical constructing the place Bricco was at 1 W. Change St.

Santoferraro stated the previous Bricco house is in turnkey situation for the following tenant.

“That place has a unbelievable kitchen in it. It is constructed out properly,” he stated.

Arts and restaurant author Kerry Clawson could also be reached at 330-996-3527 or [email protected]

This text initially appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Bricco closed for good in Akron; new upscale restaurant tenant sought