Partridge and Pear restaurant closes

About 40 jobs are affected
Jan. 04, 2013 @ 12:54 AM

The Partridge and Pear Restaurant, 2480 Parkway, has closed.

"It was not profitable," said Janet Donaldson, a marketing employee at the Christmas Place. Partridge and Pear was part of a complex that includes the Incredible Christmas Place store and the Inn at Christmas Place.

"Business gets quite skinny at this time of year," Donaldson said. "It wasn't reasonable to keep on doing the same thing."

Donaldson said the owners closed the restaurant "at least temporarily while they discussed different options. They talked to restaurant consultants who felt it wouldn't be successful with the current model."

The jobs of about 40 staffers were affected, Donaldson said. "A few employees have moved over to the hotel."

The Partridge and Pear opened July 15, 2010. The restaurant served what was called "inspired Southern cooking." "We did catfish, shrimp and grits, dishes that were comfort food and family favorites," Donaldson said.

Prices were higher when the restaurant opened. "That was a struggle," Donaldson said. "We stepped it back, tried to make it more approachable."

One possible problem, Donaldson said, was the design of the restaurant's exterior. "People told us it was a beautiful building, but it didn't read 'restaurant' as they were driving by."

The Christmas Place owners intend to reopen the restaurant "in one form or another" in the summer, Donaldson said. "It's a great location, and we're definitely going to try to use it in a good way."

kburns@themountainpress.com