Earlier this week, Scott Reitz reported on the very untimely passing of chef and restaurateur Randall Copeland. Last night, Teresa Gubbins at Culture Map reported that after one last dinner service for friends and family to commemorate Copeland's passing, Restaurant Ava has permanently closed.
Copeland certainly seemed to share a unique bond with his customers. In 2010, Hanna Raskin reported on the informal guest apprenticeship system Copeland employed during the holidays to help cover catering gigs that spread his restaurant staff thin. He would invite regular customers to help him in the kitchen, often at off-site catering jobs.
"People love the environment," Copeland said for the interview. "There's something glamorous about the restaurant business. People are intrigued by it for sure."
Copeland pointed out that even if his personal sous chef for the night couldn't chop an onion, they could help wipe down plates.
Perhaps one of the lasting legacies of Restaurant Ava will be a menu replete with fresh, local and sustainable fare, long before it was chic. Copeland and Restaurant Ava will certainly be missed.
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For now, according to Gubbin's report, the managers at the restaurant are trying to find employees other jobs.