Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment

Opticare Vision/Express Mobile Transport

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pergola Closed!

Another unfortunate retail closing occurred today as Pergola shut their doors for good after only a few short months.  I had been hearing rumblings for a over a week now but decided against posting anything to avoid contributing to an issue.

I did speak to those with some knowledge of the situation and I want to be clear that although business had been down the past couple of weeks as the weather turned bad their closing had little to do with community support.

The issues included:
  • A 6 month liquour license expiration that required Pergola to be moving toward purchase of their facility.  The current land lord would not sell at a market rate and kept them from renewing the license (a key revenue source).
  • Land lord issues rear their ugly head again.  While business was down some the past two weeks land lord issues forced the closing.  To reinforce their belief in the concept and the community they had an agreement to build a large pergola to provide shelter over the patio but the land lord did not approve.  Legal action was a consideration but to salvage the investment and avoid frustration they closed the store instead.
I hate sounding like a broken record but until we come up with a solution that provides reasonable lease situations for retailers in Fort Thomas we are running up hill in developing a retail presence in this community.  This is at least 4 food service businesses in Fort Thomas that have folded not because of community support but because we have property owners along Fort Thomas Avenue that will not support business.

I want to give a shout out to Debbie Buckly as she did everything she could to keep Pergola open but ultimately it was a business agreement that could not be salvaged.  Debbie works very hard for this community but needs more resources and a stronger vision from the city.


  1. Wow! My husband and I (as well as several others we know) really enjoyed this place and planned to visit often. It really is too bad that a great place like this cannot thrive in Ft. Thomas. Pergola's owners are not the first we've heard had an issue with the landlords. I hope they wake up and realize that offering a reasonable lease and concept upgrades would be preferred to having no rent at all. Too bad. I hope Pergola's owners find another place soon.

  2. Y'know, I'm usually the one here saying I don't want more retail in Ft Thomas, but for some reason I don't feel that way about restaurants. I guess because they are more "community-oriented." Eating and drinking with people builds community. Stopping at a store and picking up some items does not, in my opinion. Anyway, sad to see Pergola go. Cool gathering place in the middle of town. A shame.

  3. In addition to the problem with lease agreement, perhaps there is a need to revisit liquor license regulations in order to accomodate start up businesses like this.

  4. Although it would be nice to have a restaurant in that spot, I'm thrilled they are closed. The music is (was!) unbearably loud for the size of the patio it served. I would have eaten at Pergola's if there was no live music.

  5. First before writing incorrect statements blaming leases,landlords and liquor license. How about you write the truth. Pergola restaurant & Bakery..... Read the reviews. Have you actually eaten there? What was up with the sign blocking the handicap ramp,"we are serving on the patio today". The only thing that did attract people there was the newness, the music and the patio. Unfortunate it couldn't last 6 months. Maybe they should have listened to their customers complaints and turned them into positive action.
    By the way for those of you that think you know it all...
    The lease and purchase price I'm sure was agreed upon between the two parties involved. Why else would the Krebs put do much $$$ in remodeling?

  6. I am so sad about this! I love being able to walk down the street for a cup of coffee and had quite a few fun happy hours with friends there. I only hope there is some way that this situation can be remedied & we can keep Pergola. It was such a step up from the last restaurant and I was thankful for the addition in our community. It brought life to the Avenue.

  7. It's not totally closed!! Coffee & bakery is still open in the morning. At least for this week, they said.

  8. Of course they don't want to admit they failed, food was horrible and so was the service. Instead of being an adult and admit failure, they want to blame the landlords, liquor license, rent and anything else. Always easiest to point the finger and not to accept responsibility for your own demise.
    I'm sure there was a reasonable lease with option to purchase OR they wouldn't have signed it to begin with and wouldn't have sunk all that $$ in to remodeling...DUH!
    If the rent was soooo high, why keep the so called bakery open (until the lease is up..hmmm)?
    Put some real bakery items in there...PLEASE!
    From Dan's own mouth the bakery was killing them! Talk about high prices, have you purchased a bakery item and coffee..what did you pay? Bet it was over $6.00.
    And if you know anything about liquor license, they expire in OCT. I believe their lease was up in the spring of they could have gotten an extention on the lease or explored other options with the Landlords.
    Since the place opened we have heard nothing but bad reviews from their own customers. Took those complaints to Mr. Krebs and guess what his (Dan Krebs) response was, "I'll listen to what everyone has to say, but I'll still do what I damn well please." Now is that someone that needs to be in the retail or foodservice business? I I know he was upset with the bad reviews they got in the papers. Someone that can't handle constructive critism...too bad. I was hoping that they would make it...Once they found their niche, that's another story.
    So Dan, burning bridges and causing gossip in the little town of Ft. Thomas isn't the way to say goodbye. Admitting that the restaurant business just wasn't for you and your family is being the better man.
    like the least this week! They still don't know what they are doing!

    ----- Original Message -----

  9. On one hand I am sorry to see it go. It was a step up from the last place. It was an option if you want to eat in a fairly smoke free environment. On the flip side, Pergola's food was really below average. This is a high class town that deserves a high quality restaurant. Mariemont comes to mind as a city that is doing it correctly. Latin Quarter is tasty (good wine list) but has below average service. Their restaurant is consistently packed. Certainly we don't have a movie theater next door but serving good food would bring in others from out of the city. Maybe they will turn the Pergola site into another insurance office. Just what Ft Thomas needs...