In what’s becoming something of an annual event, 98 South Wine Bar & Kitchen has closed in downtown Chandler, but the landlord hopes to reopen it soon under new management.
The original 98 South closed in October 2008 when restaurateur Ron Wojcicki, who also owned 56 East and KiZake Sushi, filed for bankruptcy.
The restaurant and wine bar reopened on St. Patrick’s Day of this year under new owners, who opted to keep the name, although a full menu wasn’t introduced until mid-April.
Saturday, however, building owner Tom Bliss, of Chandler City Center Developers, locked the doors for non-payment of rent. Employees were allowed to return Monday to retrieve personal belongings.
“I’d like to say it’s temporarily closed,” Bliss says. “There’s a good chance it’ll reopen soon under different management.”
Bliss defines “soon” as “maybe a couple of weeks,” and adds there’s a good chance the new owners will keep the 98 South name.
“The restaurant was successful. It made money,” he says. “It’s my understanding the development group has other businesses that aren’t doing as well, and that’s why they have financial problems.”
Bliss is trying to reach all 98 South customers who had made reservations for over the holidays.