It's only been a few weeks since Barrelhouse Kitchen and Cocktails excitedly welcomed a new head chef to the restaurant's kitchen, but already, owner Kenta Usuzawa is back with news of a different kind.
According to a post on the restaurant's Facebook page, Barrelhouse Kitchen and Cocktails is now preparing to close its doors for good. The decision comes after the sudden departure of chef Stephan Germanaud, according to the post.
Though the post doesn't explain the exact reasons for the restaurant's impending closure, it does make clear that Germanaud's leaving the restaurant plays a role in the decision.
"We put our trust in the wrong person, someone we would later discover was running away from an embarrassing trail of legal and familial responsibilities, only to add us in his wake," the post reads. "Unfortunately, our restaurant will encounter a loss that will most likely be impossible for our small family business to recover from, and it is a shame that the selfish acts of one man will undo everything that our loyal and hardworking staff have achieved in the past two years, but that is our unfortunate reality today."
Germanaud, a French chef who came to the Valley at age 20, only joined the Barrelhouse team in early December. Prior to that, he spent time working at the Phoenician, Vincent on Camelback, Carefree Station, and The Boulders Resort and most recently took over the kitchen at the Wrigley Mansion in 2012.
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According to the post the restaurant will not host the annual New Years Eve dinner this year but will remain open "at the very least, through New Year's Eve." Until closing, the kitchen may serve a limited menu on certain days.
The restaurant's impressive bar program, however, won't be affected by the changes in the kitchen. Barrelhouse fans are invited to say goodbye with a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine -- according to the post, all drinks will be on happy hour all day and night until the end.
Barrelhouse opened in early 2013 with the goal of bringing upscale, made from scratch New American cuisine to the Chandler neighborhood. The restaurant comes from Kenta Usuzawa, who's past experiences include time as "bartender, sommelier, and/or bar manager at Tapino, Petite Maison, and Tottie's Asian Fusion."