Theorita, the diner-inspired restaurant from the team behind Che Fico, is closing its doors in December. The restaurant opened in late August, serving a menu of hearty fare inspired by chef Angela Pinkerton’s Midwestern upbringing, showcasing her pies and ice cream and chef David Nayfeld’s burgers, meatloaf, and fried chicken sandwiches.
It’s a sad closure for the team, comprising partners Matt Brewer, Nayfeld, and Pinkerton, whose wildly popular restaurant Che Fico continues to draw lines and accolades from food media. According to Brewer, though the Theorita food and brand were a hit with the neighborhood, it quickly became clear that it would be a financial struggle to stay open.
“We need to find a smaller space where we can do volume,” said Brewer, who added that finding staff to cover three meal periods at the all-day restaurant was also a struggle. Keeping a high enough check average was difficult as well, as customers gravitated toward the popular burger fried chicken sandwiches and pie over pricier entrees, beer, and wine.
Though a collaboration between all three partners, Theorita was particularly dear to Pinkerton’s heart — it is named after her grandmother, for one thing. The next iteration of the space will be another such collaboration between the partners; they hope to reopen Theorita in another location down the line. For now, their focus will be on reopening a new, yet-to-be-determined concept in Theorita’s former location in the spring.
“We decided to be able to pay accounts and give severance to our employees rather than let it get further down the road,” said Nayfeld, who will move some Theorita employees to Che Fico upstairs. “None of us felt comfortable endangering the people who committed to us. It’s a bitter pill and not the outcome that we wanted, but we feel this is a great lesson at a time where we have the ability to make some changes.”
Theorita’s last dinner service will be December 15, followed by a final brunch on December 16. After that, stop by for pie, coffee, and pastries until December 24, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Holiday pie orders will be taken from December 3-20 with pick-up December 22-24.