ANDERSONVILLE — A staple Clark Street restaurant will close permanently after Sunday, with managers saying the business was no longer sustainable due to the pandemic and related economic woes.
Gadabout, 5212 N. Clark St., will host its final day of service on Sunday, restaurant management announced this month. The closure marks the end of a three-year run for the restaurant, founded by Hopleaf kitchen alumni to bring worldly cuisine to Clark Street.
“We did our best to hold out as long as possible, but the pandemic was truly a huge success and we haven’t been able to make ends meet since,” wrote the management announcing the closure on Facebook.
Gadabouts opened in autumn 2019, serving upscale and inventive interpretations of street food found around the world. The restaurant has placed an emphasis on sustainability, sourcing second-hand furniture from Brown Elephant and offering discounts to customers who bring their own reusable straws.
The business has gained acclaim and a following in Andersonville. But like many restaurants and small businesses, the pandemic has changed everything, said James Bateman, the general manager, who co-owns Gadabout with his parents and wife.
After reopening following the 2020 stay-at-home order, Gadabout decided to keep its doors open, instituting a “passport” concept that highlighted cuisines from around the world.
The attacks and starts caused by the pandemic have taken a toll on the business, Bateman said. As many restaurants are discovering, current conditions they’re not much more business-friendly.
Rising costs, lack of a customer rebound and other factors ultimately caused the Bateman family to pull the plug, he said.
“Since COVID, we haven’t really been profitable,” Bateman said. “We were trying to maintain the standards of the pre-COVID times. Unfortunately, the prices keep going up. … It was a struggle.
Gadabout announced its pending closure on Nov. 2, giving about a month’s notice of the decision. This is to give regulars another chance to drop by and advise staff to find another job.
As a two-decade veteran in the restaurant industry, Batemen said he felt it was the least he could do.
“I’ve done my best to be a better boss than many other places,” he said. “We have many regular customers that we have become friends with. We want to make sure the people we’ve enjoyed in the past come back again.”
Gadabout is open for dinner service from 5.00pm and offers a weekend brunch service from 11.00am to 2.30pm For more information and to make a booking, click here.
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