WICKER PARK — A seafood restaurant that specializes in oysters and absinthe cocktails shuttered just a few days after its two-year anniversary and is chalking the closure "up to economics," a bartender at The Savoy said on Sunday.
On The Savoy's last night in business Sunday, Deidre Darling was busy serving customers while owner Ricky Moore would only say "It's a stressful time" when asked to comment about his decision to close the restaurant.
First reported by Eater.com on Saturday, news of the closure brought several reactions from the site's readers, one of whom called Darling, who serves as The Savoy's beverage manager, "a rock star" while another said, "really a shame."
The Savoy opened in July 2012 and employed 12 people — all thanked on a chalkboard that said "Thanks for the memories."
The kitchen of the cozy, nautical-themed eatery was originally run by chef Brian Greene, who left Wicker Park last year to head up Bow & Stern Oyster Bar at 1371 W. Chicago Ave. in West Town.
Among the folks helping to bid goodbye to The Savoy was Tom Moran, a Lincoln Park resident who was in the neighborhood for Wicker Park Fest.
Moran said he was standing on the street near The Savoy when he met Luek Yonder, a longtime friend of Moore.
Moran, a construction worker, said he had known about The Savoy for the last two years and had been "meaning to check it out."
Upon hearing that Sunday would be The Savoy's final night, Moran decided to recruit people to come in.
Around 10 p.m. Sunday, just before The Savoy closed permanently, Yonder said that Moran, who was a stranger to him just hours earlier, brought in "at least 30 people" through his grassroots promotion efforts.
"I wanted to help, and wish I could have been there sooner. Everyone in Wicker Park just wants cheap deals, and it's tough to survive here," Moran said, adding that he would "not want to own a restaurant in a competitive area like Wicker Park."
Previously, the restaurant was the home of La Fonda Del Gusto, an upscale Mexican restaurant that closed in 2011 after a two-year run.
Moore told the Chicago Pipeline blog in 2012 that it was his affinity for the Wicker Park neighborhood that inspired him to open a restaurant on Milwaukee Avenue.
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