By CHARLES FERRUZZA
Back in the days when I was juggling two jobs -- as a reporter and a waiter -- a few people asked if I would ever want to open my own restaurant. Say what? I'm not that crazy! I am just crazy enough, however, to know all the lyrics to the song "Twisted" by Annie Ross and Wardell Grey which includes the lyrics: "My analyst told me that I was right out of my head/ He said I need treatment, but I'm not that easily led."
I suppose I should have warned Lana Todd -- the IMB business planner, Pilates instructor and former investor in the short-lived Sarah's restaurant at 1815 Grand who took over as owner and turned it into the equally short-lived Twist -- that taking on the operation was a twisted idea. But I'm not that easily led ... to smash people's dreams, anyway.
Alas, four months after Twist opened, it's gone.
And I mean gone. The tables, the chairs, the place mats, the artwork and God only knows what else has left the building (which was, for several years, the Grand Gallery and Coffeehouse). I wondered what happened, so I e-mailed Lana Todd and got this response:
Yes ... we decided to close on Saturday night after dinner service. The numbers were just not there. With the bad economy, high gas prices and frankly, the Power and Light District, we didn't have a chance. We continued to lose money week after week ... we thought it would pick up after summer, but I simply did not have the financial wherewithall to keep it going.
Todd wrote that she'd had a lot of positive feedback about the restaurant during the summer months, but good word-of-mouth wasn't enough to generate the necessary revenue to keep the business going.
It's a hard lesson to learn, but I did learn a lot about the restaurant industry while being involved with Sarah's and Twist over the past year. Now I'll go back to my corporate job and teaching yoga/pilates.
It's a bittersweet story, but I suspect the location won't be empty for long. There's always someone a little bit crazy enough to want to open a new restaurant. And thank goodness for that.