Saturday, February 24, 2018
Restaurants

Pearl in the Grove and Rebecca's in Dade City to close permanently; Local Public House & Provisions reopening

The Tampa Bay Times reported Monday that Pearl in the Grove in Dade City, Rebecca's at City Market in Dade City and Local Public House & Provisions in San Antonio had temporarily closed. Today, owners Curtis and Rebecca Beebe announced that Pearl in the Grove and Rebecca's would close permanently, whereas Local will reopen Friday for business.

In a newsletter to the restaurants' fans, Curtis wrote, "After a tumultuous few weeks, Rebecca and I have arrived at the difficult decision of closing Pearl in the Grove and Rebecca's at City Market. We are going to focus on making our largest, most profitable location perform as excellently as possible."

What went wrong?

"Rebecca's was simply a case of my reach exceeding my grasp," Curtis said by phone on Thursday. "And the nature of Pearl in the Grove is chef-driven, it's about who is in the kitchen. I can't be in the kitchen and run the business. And the Pearl on its own can't support us."

The Beebes aim to pick their best players from Rebecca's and Pearl to fill positions at Local. They say they will honor all financial obligations to current and former staff.

"I think there's a lot of potential at Local that we haven't gotten to. We're going to add more dinner entree items off of the Rebecca's menu, simple stuff like steak and potatoes," Curtis said. "And there's been a lot of requests to bring back dishes from the original menu at Pearl, like the catfish beignets and sausage and chicken gumbo."

The biggest question, of course, is what will become of Kevin. Kevin Bacon was the name of the restaurant's pig, scheduled to be eaten in a seven-course dinner on Oct. 20 at Pearl, now cancelled.

"We're having an Angry Chair tap takeover Oct. 21 at Local," Curtis explained. "And we're having some Kevin-based snacks."

Contact Laura Reiley at [email protected] or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.

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