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Sarasota Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009 11 years ago

Two Sarasota restaurants to close

by: Loren Mayo Black Tie Editor

Canvas Café Executive Chef Stephen Phelps blames the economy.

“It’s tough times for even an award-winning chef like myself,” Phelps said about the decision to close Canvas Café after two years of operation. “People aren’t dining out as much, and we count on the locals. If they’re not eating, we’re hurting.”

For the past few months, Canvas Café owners Louis Schultz and Diane Tauber Schultz had been searching for investors to keep the restaurant afloat. When they received more offers to sell their business, though, the Schultzes accepted the best offer for their restaurant. It is unknown if the new owners, whose names were not disclosed, will keep the restaurant or put a new business in the space.

The restaurant’s last day of operation under its current owners will be Saturday, Aug. 1.

“The response we’re getting from this is incredible,” Phelps said. “Last night we were so busy I couldn’t believe it. Some people were almost in tears. People who come for the last supper — it’s going to be a good one."

5One6 Burns, on the other hand, made a quiet exit last Sunday.

“We didn’t advertise that it was the last day,” said owner Max Burke-Phillips. “We quietly closed and shut the doors.”

When the revenue at 5One6 Burns dropped 45% and Burke-Phillips couldn’t persuade his landlord to negotiate on the rent, he made the decision to close.

Burke-Phillips had hoped that he could postpone closing for another week to throw a final farewell party for the restaurant, which opened in the Burns Court district approximately six years ago. But there was no money to pay the staff.

“Like any small business, we ran out of money and out of time,” Burke-Phillips said.

Contact Loren Mayo at [email protected].


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