The only restaurant story-of-the-moment getting more buzz than the tale of Jardine's owner Beena Rajah firing her entire staff last week? The rumor that Sharp's 63rd Street Grill — the inexplicably popular diner in Brookside — was under contract to be purchased by a well-known local restaurateur.
Sharp's owner Marty Junkins was unavailable for comment. And the report of the sale was news to interior designer Scott Coker-Padilla, who announced in October that he was redesigning the interior of Sharp's. Scott's partner, Joe Coker-Padilla told Fat City today, "We've heard nothing about the restaurant being sold. As far as we know, the plans are still on hold but going forward."
Let's see, who else was unavailable for comment today? Oh, yes, Forbes Cross, the owner of Hickok's Bar & Grill in the River Market; Cross is most famous for his beloved 1980s Waldo bistro, Michael Forbes Grill. After hearing the rumor that Cross was interested in buying Sharp's, Fat City tried to reach him all day. But two sources — who requested anonymity — familiar with the Sharp's deal say Junkins is selling the iconic neighborhood bar and grill so that he can spend more time in Holden, Missouri, with his partner.
Junkins was also reportedly concerned about a new Panera Bread Company opening in 2012 directly across the street from Sharp's.
Because Sharp's has always been a lightning rod for passionate opinions — people either adore the place or loathe it — the rumor of its impending demise should generate a lot of comment. You are welcome to add your two cents in the comment section of this post.