Sunday, November 19, 2006

Trouble in Paradise?

Well, it's not exactly paradise.

When the Eclectic Guy gets out every blue moon, on the rare occasion when the evening might include cocktails, he likes to go the Vandalia in Charleston. Ok, I recognize the pretensions of the joint and it ain't cheap and the music gets a bit monotonous, but hell, where can an old guy go? The Red Carpet Lounge?

From the Gazette:
Downtown nightspot closes abruptly Vandalia closes for
management change, majority owner says
Joe MorrisStaff writer
The Vandalia Lounge closed abruptly on Thursday for what its owner calls a management reorganization.

New thought: after scratching our heads over this one last night, one burning question remained. Why would a money making business close its doors on a Thursday night right before the holiday season? What business sense does that make. I don't mean to stir up trouble, but something is wrong in Vandalia land and we don't believe that this is the whole story. This certainly is none of our business and the real reason may never be revealed, but curiosity remains.

Majority owner Virgil Sadorra said the downtown bar at 212 Hale St. would be out of business for at least two weeks, but possibly longer, while a new management team learns the ropes.
Sadorra said he regretted having to close with the holidays coming up and the hardship that the closure would cause Vandalia’s employees.
“I feel bad for our servers and our regulars,” he said. “But I didn’t want to put a Band-aid on our problems.”
Sadorra would not comment on the problems that led to the closure except to say it was a mutual decision reached with Vandalia manager Pierre Charbonniez, a minority owner of the bar who is also Sadorra’s brother-in-law.
Charbonniez could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
“We need to step back and focus on the direction for the new year and develop a stronger management team,” Sadorra said.
Vandalia opened in September 2004 and quickly became a popular nightspot. Weekend nights tended to be standing room only, and Gov. Joe Manchin and first lady Gayle Manchin could occasionally be found there.
It pitched itself toward an upscale crowd, selling specialty martinis and enforcing a no-T-shirt dress code for men.
Sadorra owns Cilantros, a Tex-Mex restaurant downtown, and is working on opening two other restaurants in Charleston as well as another upscale bar.
Last month, he announced on his Web site that Vandalia would be adding a kitchen in order to start selling tapas dishes, or Spanish-themed appetizers, around the first of the new year.
On the Web: http://www.delish/
To contact staff writer Joe Morris, use e-mail or call 348-5179.

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