The Piedmont Bistro, which closed earlier this month after only a year in business, will reopen next month under new owners.
Jeff Barclay and Scott Ritter, who own Venue restaurant as well as the Lincoln Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs, announced Monday on the restaurant's Facebook page that Piedmont Bistro will reopen in early January.
Barclay said in an interview that though the restaurant did not succeed financially, it was a success in the sense that it had great customers.
"This was a place worth fighting to keep alive because there were already so many good things in place," he said. "We just felt like it was the right thing to do."
Kevin Shinn, who opened Piedmont Bistro in December 2015, closed it Dec. 4 and told the Journal Star at the time that it had underperformed financially.
He later was sued by the owner of Piedmont Shoppes, who alleged Shinn owed more than $100,000 in back rent and remodeling costs. Several employees also told the Journal Star that they did not receive their final paycheck.
Barclay said he and Ritter bought Shinn's liquor inventory and purchased some assets the lender repossessed. They did not take on any liabilities and negotiated new lease terms.
He also said they are rehiring all the employees who want jobs, including executive chef Jesse Anderson.
Anderson will keep "highlights of the old menu" while adding new items to create a more expansive menu, Barclay said.
He wanted to assure people, though, that Piedmont Bistro will not become a carbon copy of Venue, nor will it be entirely like the old Piedmont Bistro, either.
Barclay said he and Ritter are planning to serve breakfast and will open at 7 a.m. Monday-Saturday and at 8 a.m. on Sundays. Dinner will be served until 10 p.m., with the bar staying open until 11 weeknights and until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
They are shooting for being open for dinner on Jan. 5, with breakfast starting the following day.
Barclay said the new restaurant will honor all previously issued Piedmont Bistro gift cards.
Ritter and Barclay have experience with rescuing restaurants that have fallen on hard times. They bought Venue in 2012 at an auction after it faced financial difficulties.
Barclay said the duo are excited to attempt to do the same with Piedmont Bistro, "and we don't want to mess it up."