A mere five weeks after it opened in Maitland, Blackfin restaurant has closed. Manager Katie Bellairs told me that she was on her way to work this morning "after we had such a great weekend and I thought everything was great" when she received a phone call telling her not to come in and that the restaurant was closed.
In an email from Brandon Bizar to his partner in the business, Eric Kovar, who founded the original Blackfin in Winter Park, Bizar said, "Saturday and Sunday definitely kept pace with prior weekends. Unfortunately not enough volume or margin after food cost to offset the fixed payroll cost necessary to operate BlackFin the way you desire."
The email continued: "After much deliberation, it is sad for all involved that this email communicates that BlackFin Restaurant management, LLC does not have sufficient cash flow to sustain further losses and therefore we can not open the doors today. The BlackFin concept may very well succeed in other markets such as Park Avenue or Sand Lake Road, but the Maitland location has proven that the necessary demand to support BlackFin's fixed cost structure does not appear sufficient."
In a statement that followed, Kovar said, "We are sorry to announce that after our successful reopening five weeks ago in Maitland, Blackfin will be temporarily closed in order to move to another location. This decision is not by choice, but rather the result of an unexpected financial matter associated with the building's ownership, not Blackfin management."
Blackfin had taken over the space that was occupied by SoNapa, which was owned by Bizar. Bizar stayed on as a partner in opening Blackfin.
Bizar did not immediately return a call.
As indicated in his statement, Kovar plans to move the concept to another location.
More to come as this breaking story develops.