After seven years in business, EVOO has closed its doors. Head Chef and part-owner Jean Paul Fontaine is one of the area’s better culinary talents, and loyal patrons can take some comfort in the fact that a note posted on the EVOO website says that they “are currently looking to open a new restaurant” (see below for full reproduction of the note). No official word yet on whether they plan to convert the same space into something different or if this means an entirely new location, although it appears that a new location is planned. One would venture to guess that another restauranteur would have a go at a new restaurant in the current location, but it’s all speculation at this point.
EVOO will be fondly remembered as a neighborhood bistro serving Mediterranean-style cusine such as fresh whole fish, oven fired pizzas, and some of the best steaks outside of a steakhouse. Unfortunately, many may remember EVOO for the isolated yet highly-publicized incident of food-borne illness that struck several patrons earlier this year. It’s doubtful that the closing is directly related to this event, but the fallout from the negative publicity may have had a lasting effect. EVOO was ultimately cleared of any responsibility for the illnesses (apparently the problem was some bad anchovies which were packaged offsite) and the restaurant re-opened the very next day. I last ate at EVOO just a few weeks ago and everything was spectacular, particularly the service. It’s much more likely that the closing is a result of the struggling economy and the growing number of competing restaurants on nearby Glenwood South.
Here’s the letter which is now posted on the EVOO website.
Dear Loyal Patrons,
As of Tuesday, June 23, 2009, EVOO is closed for business. We wanted to personally thank everyone for their support over the years. Without this loyal support, EVOO would not have been able to survive seven memorable years serving the downtown Raleigh community. We are currently looking to open a new restaurant. The restaurant would incorporate the same great ambiance, service, food, and beverages EVOO has always provided. Please check the website for updates on the possible new location. Once again, thank you to everyone for helping make seven years worth of memories.
Best of luck to Chef Jean Paul and the EVOO staff in their future endeavors. EVOO will be truly missed.