Last rites for Nine75
The space at 975 Lincoln Street is dark now. The doors are locked, the lights are out. Yesterday, George Eder and some of his guys from Jet Entertainment Group gutted the place, taking out everything they could -- food and dry-stock, the art from the walls. All that's left are a few tables and chairs, the lights, some kitchen equipment. "The bank can have it," Eder told me.
The final, closing-night party was Saturday. It was a benefit for the staff -- an all-you-can-drink bachanal that had to be shut down early, Eder said, because "people were so wasted they couldn't stand up."
A lot of them were members of the Nine75 staff, drinking away the last day while Eder and a couple of hired-gun drink-slingers from elsewhere in the Jet empire worked the long oak. By the time the party was done, there wasn't a single beer left in the place, hardly a sip of liquor. "Which was just fine," Eder explained. "Much less stuff for me to move."
The three days of parties -- Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights -- managed to raise somewhere between $3,500 and $4,000 for the employees who were losing their jobs with the closure of Nine75. Between the selling of namesake plates, the proceeds from the Saturday drink-a-thon, the huge crowds that showed up to say goodbye to Nine75 (and tip big in the process), there was "a little bit for everybody," according to Eder. A few bucks here, a few drinks there.
In all, it was a classy way to go out. And considering that a lot of the staff have already found other work or been placed in other Jet properties, it was just about as happy an ending as there could be for a restaurant being forced out of business. Sure, it was sad that Nine75 had to close. But with free-flowing booze, one killer party and a few bucks at the end of it?
That ain't a bad way for any restaurant to go out.