If you were to walk by the Avvio Italian Restaurant and Grill, you would no longer see the hustle and bustle of a restaurant in full swing. Instead, you would see a sign in the window that says, “For Lease,” and a letter from the owner Bryan Lipps.
“Avvio is closed indefinitely,” the letter said. “The sales levels simply never became sustainable. Thanks to all of you who did give us a chance. It was a fun concept while it lasted.”
The restaurant, which replaced Hoggy’s on the corner of Sandusky and Williams, was opened for less than a year. The decision to close was made the morning of March 12, and after a normal day of service, the restaurant closed its doors.
It closed because of no cash flow,” Junior Tylor Havemann said. “There simply wasn’t enough business to sustain it.”
Havemann was an employee at Avvio, and said he was upset to see the restaurant close.
The restaurant did have issues in the beginning, Havemann said, but those issues were resolved quickly. However, the initial perception the community had about Avvio seemed to cause a serious struggle for cash flow.
“I feel the problem was when we first opened and people rushed to visit us, we were caught off guard and made mistakes,” he said. “The amount of negative reviews and words spoken far outweighed the positive experiences, mostly because no one bothered to take the time to write a few lines online or tell their friends.”
Havemann said the staff of Avvio’s was upset about the closing.
“We all spent loads of time trying our best to make a new concept work,” he said. “Shutting down is failure, and no one likes failure.”
According to an article done by The Transcript earlier this semester, Avvio was trying out a new layout for a restaurant, where a customer would order their food at the counter, retrieve their own silverware and drink, pick their own table, and then after the meal bus their own table. Ray Smith, the former Vice President of Marketing, said in the previous article Avvio was a place where all were welcome, and encouraged to be the best part of themselves .
“I’m sorry to see things end up the way they did with Avvio,” he said. “We were off to a great start and we were still rolling out the necessary marketing programs.”
Havemann also said he will miss the atmosphere of Avvio’s and what Avvio stood for.
“It had something special to me simply because I personally invested serious brainpower into the restaurant,” he said. “I went all-in on everything I could to keep business.”
“I can’t tell you the amount of times people walked into the doors, ordered, sat down, and after the food arrived and they tasted it, they said, ‘Oh wow, we’re pleasantly surprised! From what we heard you weren’t so great, but I’m glad we came in ourselves!’” he said. “Hearing such things has serious effects on a person that invests time and money into something they love.”
Havemann said he now on a mission to find a new job in town.
“It’s hard to find something local, flexible, understanding, and reasonable like Avvio,” he said. “Small businesses feel like families, and that’s how I was treated.”