Our worst fears about Ombi: A Gastropub have come to pass. The Elliston Place eatery is closed. After diners found a note about a problem with the gas line taped on the door of the dark restaurant last week, owner Terrell Raley, the bartender who recently purchased the restaurant from its founders, sent this email Sunday afternoon:
Ombi fans and friends,
Due to unforeseen, and unlikely, circumstances, I will be unable to continue business as Ombi. I would like to extend my gratitude to all who have supported us these past months and to say that we hope to see you all again in the future, as Jason and I are currently seeking funds for our next endeavor (calling all investors!). It has been a pleasure to meet so many lovely people and an even greater pleasure to call them friends. You know who you are.
Cheers, many thanks, and hope to see you soon,
In March, Raley purchased the struggling restaurant from its founders, Wonnie Short and Dennis Rogers, in the hopes that he, chef Jason Love and a dedicated team--many of whom worked without pay when Raley first took over--could make a go out of the culinary haven.
The sleek and stylish Ombi began life four years ago as an awkward daytime-nighttime hybrid of Le Peep restaurant and Ombi Bar. Two years ago, chefs Laura Wilson and Kim Totzke took over the kitchen, eliminating the Le Peep element and turning Ombi into a full-fledged restaurant with a French bistro-style repertoire. In recent months, the menu has morphed toward a collection of smaller plates and a style Raley describes as "gastropub."
Totzke left Ombi for Provence Breads & Cafe last year, and Wilson officially handed over the kitchen to chef Love on Valentine's Day this year, when she left the business to spend more time with her new baby.