Saturday, March 2, 2019

Farewell Lupa

Sorry about the delay. Fasting bloodwork waits for no blog.

The big news around town is that Lupa, the restaurant owned by the Foreman Wolf group, will close this weekend. As you may recall, Lupa replaced Petit Louis. So, after five years in Columbia, Foreman Wolf is calling it quits.

I’m kicking myself at the moment because I know I have a photo of former County Executive Ken Ulman making the announcement at a press event directly in front of the restaurant space.

Wait! Here it is.

The photo is dated February1, 2014. I remember thinking how good it was to see Mr. Ulman smiling that day. The community was still reeling from the January 25th shooting at the Columbia Mall and Mr. Ulman’s job had been heavy with the day-to-day responsibilities surrounding shock, grief, public safety, fear, and the swarm of out of town news stories that didn’t seem to care if they got the story right.

It was a bright spot in a dark time.

The Downtown Plan was really going to take off and this was a sign that businesses were going to be eager to invest in Columbia. It was exciting news.

Well, the Downtown Plan is taking off and businesses are eager to invest in Columbia, but this particular restaurant, after two separate dining concepts, did not make it.

I can tell you one thing I’m not going to analyze here: why it didn’t make it. Because a quick glance online tells me that almost everyone I know (and many I don’t) have a boatload of reasons why. You probably have your own theory. I am hoping that one of my readers will share the litany of restaurants that have been in that particular space over the years. My memory doesn’t go back far enough, and it’s quite a list.

So, what to do with that space? Well. former Columbia Compass blogger Bill Santos once pointed out that, no matter what other restaurants were available at the Lakefront, Clyde’s always had a wait. Even with other options to chose from, people would still wait for a table at Clyde’s. He suggested, tongue-in-cheek, I believe, that what was needed was clearly: another Clyde’s.

What do you think?

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