Spring is here. Summer is around the corner. We should be right in the middle of Pergola's people watching, patio sitting, hummus eating sweet spot.
Instead we are stuck wondering what could have been and trying to get the actual story of why we have to look at the newly built pergola from the sidewalks of the intersection of North and South Fort Thomas Avenues instead of listening to the mellow sounds of Tupelo Honey on the patio and wondering who'll walk by next.
Darrin wrote an article on 10/13/09 speculating some of the reasons as to why Pergola's run was short lived and I generally agree with him on all fronts. An article dated October 22, 2009 from the Fort Thomas Recorder quotes one of Pergola owner's Danny Krebs as saying Pergola had to close due to an issue involving Kentucky state law regarding liquor licenses.
Initially it was my goal to find out exactly why Pergola didn't make it. After my calls to Krebs went unreturned, I thought I'd ask the property owner, Rick Warner, what happened.
"We nor the previous tenant can comment on any misconceptions including those posted on (Fort Thomas Matters) and in various publications in the past, on why it closed," Warner said.
That's the bad news (for my initial story, at least).
The good news, according to Warner is, "The property is currently up for sale and has had many inquiries. We hope to secure a buyer soon and hopefully in time for them to open a restaurant this summer."
Anyone that you talk to (besides perhaps some neighbors on streets around the property complaining about loud patio music) will tell you that that property should be a home run. You couldn't ask for a better locale. People want it to work, but for one reason or another it just hasn't.
Warner and his wife Dawn started this notion with their restaurant, Warner's, which closed at the end of 2008, because of their other business obligations.
"Since the original dream was for my wife and I to have a successful community oriented restaurant in that location (15 N. Fort Thomas Ave), we still feel that the right kind of restaurant would thrive in that location," Warner said.
For selfish reasons, I hope the Warner's, who additionally are the founders of the Merchants and Music Festival, can find a buyer for the property. For the sake of the city as well though, I think the right restaurant could truly be one of the city's crown jewels.
"I hope soon we will be able to announce that we have a secured a buyer and our dream will continue," Warner said.
So do I.