Chow Bella

Skye Supper Club's Closing Is Unfortunate But Not Surprising

Skye Supper Club -- one of Peoria's only upscale independent restaurants (offering live entertainment, no less) -- closed earlier this month. Owners Terri and Ann Davies posted a farewell note to their customers on the restaurant's website, saying:

We have been open over six years, and over the past three years, it has been extremely challenging to survive financially. And despite the best efforts of the employees, and your tremendous support and loyalty, we simply cannot continue.

Of course, it was the economy that dealt the biggest blow, but I'm pretty sure there were other factors that led to the restaurant's demise.

Skye may have taken a hit when executive chef Scott Tompkins, who helped open the restaurant in 2006, left to take some time off. His split with the Davies reportedly was amicable.

Tompkins, who ran the kitchen at Marco Polo for many years, made steaks and prime rib the focus of Skye's menu, which probably played well with the older clientele who frequented this expansive, plush place -- presumably to eat something familiar and listen to the Davies perform on the supper club side of the restaurant.

The Davies replaced Tompkins with French-born, French-trained chef Philippe Thelier, whose résumé includes a long stint with Sofitel restaurants, a European-based luxury chain with a decidedly French accent. Thelier kept the beef but also offered a far more seasonal menu, which included dishes such as sea bass with mango coulis and duck a l'orange. In addition, he added French desserts (who could complain about that?) and a children's menu, which offered a burger, mac and cheese, mushroom pizza and salmon. His menu and focus would have surely been more suited to Scottsdale than the west side's meat-and-potatoes crowd.

In any case, Skye's closure is a loss for Peoria -- which has a glut of chain restaurants -- and for the rare bird who still likes dressing for dinner and watching a show.

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Nikki Buchanan