Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Abrupt closure for Woodfire Grill

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In a surprise post on their active Facebook page, popular, upscale Mt. Juliet restaurant Woodfire Grill announced they were closed, effective immediately early Monday morning.

Open just a year on North Mt. Juliet Road, they had over 4,280 "likes" on Facebook.

A huge "CLOSED" sign has been hung under their logo in front of the restaurant.

"We want to thank all of our staff and Woodfire Family for servicing the Mount Juliet community for the last year," the short post starts.

"We have made this tough decision to close Woodfire Mj as of today. We thank you for your support for those who were able to come and dine with us over this past year," is Woodfire's post.

The early morning post racked up dozens of comments in no time.

So sad to read this post. We loved you place, the service and the food. Best of luck to you all," said Kristi Dunn.

Others expressed sadness at the sudden closure, another person questioned if the location was not optimal, versus down at Providence Marketplace.

"We will miss some very friendly faces who welcomed our brand as their favorite place to dine and relax in MJ," concluded Woodfire's post.

There was no response from the restaurant to the onslaught of subsequent posts from the community as of noon Monday.

When The Wilson Post reached out to their Facebook private messenger the response was from someone who said there was a lot to manage at this point and they declined an in-depth response regarding their announcement.

The Wilson Post conducted an in-depth interview with co-owner Chris Scott when they opened. Scott Smith was the front house 'face' of the restaurant and worked seamlessly with partners Scott and James Todd.

He said their goal at that time was to bring to Mt. Juliet upscale southern dining with "an authentic southern fare."

They offered delectable entrees, appetizers, desserts and drinks.

"So very sad to hear this news! We were just dining there yesterday!! :(. Your fried avocado tacos were always amazing as well as your delicious meatloaf! The staff was always so accommodating and kind. So very sad to hear this news :(," Gennifer Davis Stueck wrote on Woodfire Grill's Facebook page.

The restaurant is located in Mt. Juliet City Commissioner Ray Justice's district. He was surprised and said he heard about it closing along with everyone else on social media.

"I've been there several times," Justice said. "I actually enjoyed it every time I went."

As far as some comments about the location in north Mt. Juliet, Justice said at this time there's not a built-in customer base to support such a large, privately owned restaurant perhaps.

"We've been trying to get in some apartments [Northtown Village just down the road has been proposed with 274 units and 10,000 square feet of commericial] to bring in support. Then others bases would follow."

As far as Providence Marketplace perhaps better location for the restaurant, Justice said "mom and pops,' start-up privately owned restaurants would have a hard time surviving in Providence due to its high cost to operate there.

"I hate to see this happen," Justice said. "I thank them for what they've contributed to Mt. Juliet and wish them luck. Hopefully, someone will come in with another asset to north Mt. Juliet."

After their opening, Scott expressed delight at the mass turnout of diners and how "blown away and humbling" they were about the positive response both on the Internet and at the restaurant.

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