“I live in Nevada and it’s become increasingly difficult to be an owner from a distance,” said Hardie, in a phone call.
Enotria’s run lasted for 17 years, and known for its deep wine cellar, ambitions for a Michelin star and incessant staff turnover. Enotria underwent a $1.5 million makeover in 2011, and hired chef Pajo Bruich in 2012 along with a crew of some of the region’s top culinary talent. The restaurant specialized in tasting menus featuring modern techniques and an array of wine pairings. Enotria also launched a guest chef series which found Michelin-starred chefs including Dominique Crenn creating menus and cooking with Enotria’s staff.
Hardie, who owns the building, will keep the property and is already seeking new tenants. He has appointments with prospective tenants today.
Hardie said his commute, not the restaurant business, was the deciding factor in closing Enotria. Staff was informed of the closure today.
“It really has to do with me being in Lake Tahoe,” said Hardie. “I’m transitioning into being a landlord.”
Bruich said he was “blindsided” by Hardie’s news that Enotria was shutting down immediately. Bruich and his crew had just been crafting a menu for Sacramento Bacon Fest and planned on another nightly dinner service.
Bruich hopes to stay in Sacramento, with a goal of owning his own restaurant. Ideally he’d like to keep his kitchen staff, and has also eyed two possible locations. Bruich already has one investor lined up and seeking more for a new restaurant project.
“Enotria was something I was extremely proud of and we built a fantastic program,” said Bruich. “I thank David for putting his trust in me and guiding me. I’d always felt super secure with Enotria and I don’t know exactly what changed. In the meantime, I have to get to work and find a new home as a chef.”
Stay tuned for more on Enotria’s closing.
FROM THE BEE: