Along with a "Gone Fishing" photo, the following note appeared on Midtown Grill
's Facebook page yesterday:
As of today, Midtown is closed for public service. We will host private functions only now through the holidays. We can accommodate 100-150 easily. Party basic and Extensive menus available!! Call or text Phil for appointments!! 719-338-9394
Courtesy Midtown Grill
Oscar's Tejon Street and Midtown Grill owner Phil Duhon.
spoke to owner Phil Duhon this morning, who was quite forthcoming about his reasons for closing the business down. Duhon confirmed the business and property are now for sale.
Duhon originally launched Oscar's Tejon Street
in April, 2003, rebranding the business to Midtown Grill earlier this year.
"I may have opened Midtown too early for the downtown renovations underway and it just didn't stick," he says. "I think people still wanted a local hangout bar, and I'm not a drinker anymore. I haven't drank in three years — I just don't want to be in that industry anymore."
Duhon says that after running some numbers, he realizes he can sell everything and bank what it would take him 10 years to make if provided the same annual revenue Oscar's made. "I can be done. I can retire. I can do little things on my own. Invest, remodel, renovate, take time off, be with my kids — just cash the chips in," he says.
"Maybe remodeling was a bad decision," he continues. "But owning the property was a great decision. I bought if four years ago at 1/4 the price it's currently worth."
Duhon says he believes the business dynamic both at-large and downtown has changed a lot over the years. He cites factors ranging from social media influences to legal marijuana. "The dynamic change so much, faster than I'm accustomed to."
In the end, he says, "I could have pulled through the rough time, but I just don't wanna."
Duhon got his start at The Ritz and Mackenzie's Chop House. He says he's grateful for what downtown has given him over the years. "My biggest thanks is to the general public who has accepted me and forgiven me for my past ... I wasn't a very anonymous alcoholic. But I don't do that anymore. I've grown up. ... When I made this decision, I felt the weight lifted off. ... I've had a wonderful last couple years, I'm grateful to be a part of the Springs."
The fine house Reuben served at Midtown Grill.