DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A popular downtown Dayton restaurant has made the difficult decision to close for good. The owners of Corner Kitchen say the circumstances created by the coronavirus were simply too challenging to overcome.
Corner Kitchen tried to reinvent itself in the past month in order to adapt to significantly lower capacity requirements. But the owners say there is just no way to remain profitable.
Jack Skilliter is the Co-owner & Executive Chef. He says, “There were too many variables for us to weigh and hope to make it through this.”
Corner Kitchen will close immediately and indefinitely, an abrupt ending to a five-year run. Revenue had been slashed, and owners Jack and Natalie Skilliter didn’t know if or when occupancy restrictions would be lifted.
Jack Skilliter says, “With essentially a third of the business we felt that might be insurmountable moving forward.”
The restaurant anchored the east entrance to the Oregon District and contributed to the neighborhood’s atmosphere and spirit. The Skilliters revamped their business model this month to try and survive from week to week. “We ultimately saw it would require us eliminating much of our staff. If we had to get to that point then it didn’t serve us to try to continue to operate.”
Corner Kitchen did secure a PPP loan, but found the financial burden from paying it back was not sustainable. “The heartwarming support and outreach that we’ve gotten from people within the last couple days but also since we opened our doors has been amazing.”
Jack Skilliter says they’ll try to sell off assets from inside the restaurant, and other restaurants are already hiring on some of Corner Kitchen’s former employees. He says this is why local businesses need support now more than ever.