Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fresh - an update

UPDATE: November 18, 2008 - This restaurant has closed.

Ok, so I just got back from having lunch with a friend and noticed that Fresh has reopened. The white paper that lined the windows last week is gone and the restaurant had a chalkboard shingle out front to let passersby know that they are open until 6 p.m.

I stopped in and spoke to the owner, who said they are trying out a "new, updated concept" called Southwest Fresh.

They do not have new menus printed yet because they are "still working out the kinks" but a cursory glance showed a few vegetarian selections, as well as Jarritos in the drinks cabinet.

8 comments:

GColtrane said...

Hi! I'm the owner's girlfriend, and I'm a vegetarian, too. I wanted to let you know that Southwest Fresh has some tasty veggie items on the menu! For starters, they have a Fire Roasted Texas Veggie wrap, which has roasted red bell pepper humus, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, jalapeños, Mexican cheeses, and home-made Southwest sour cream on a whole wheat tortilla. They also have a Mexican cheese quesadilla, giant baked potatoes with shredded Mexican cheeses, house-made Southwest sour cream, bacon, mesquite seasoned tortilla strips (I omit the bacon, of course). You could also order the Southwest House Salad without the chicken, and that comes with: chopped onions, diced tomatoes, sliced blacks olives, shredded
carrots , freshly grated blended Mexican cheese, chopped green bell peppers; all piled high on a bed of our house greens with our home-made smokehouse honey mustard, and garnished with our baked mesquite tortilla strips and a lime wedge. We are still working out the kinks with menu, so if you have veggie options you would like to see on the menu, please let us know!
-G. Coltrane

Anonymous said...

Are they closed now?

Anonymous said...

Yes, sadly their last day of business was November 7th. There were too many problems with The Bartlett Building being in disrepair, and those problems from the building made the business in-operable. Shame, too, since we added vegetarian burritos, veggie tacos, and some other veggie items. That building is falling down and has gone into receivership, and the old owner of the building who filed bankruptcy did not make the 4 million in repairs that he was supposed to, so all of the tenants have vacated. Southwest Fresh was the last to go. :(
-gcoltrane

Anonymous said...

GColtrane, Will Fresh attempt a new loccation?

GColtrane said...

Given the present economic situation, unfortunately, no. Hopefully we can re-open again someday!

Anonymous said...

What was wrong with the building?

Anonymous said...

There once were plans to turn it into a boutique hotel with an upscale restaurant on the second floor. http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2008/07/14/daily59.html. Renovations were underway and several tenants left the building, such as an American Airlines office. There was no apparent affect on Fresh or the space it occupied. Fresh had long experienced deeply rooted problems that were unrelated to the Bartlett Building. This is evident in the failed attempts to re-brand, and the apparent negligence of the company's website which had long sat idle. They'll blame the building, the economy, the city, but fact is they failed and they will not be trying again in this city.

Anonymous said...

Actually, you're wrong - it's a lie that construction was under way - I know because I was a tenant there, too. There was a HUGE issue with the owner not paying Duke energy, and pocketing the money. He was, and IS, a total crook - the owner of The Bartlett Building is from Chicago named John Thomas, of Sterling Phoenix group. What he had done to us, the tenants, was so maddening, and he should have gone to jail. He had been convicted of federal business fraud in New York in 2004, yet he managed to get a commercial loan from 5/3rd to buy The Bartlett Building. Then he pocketed the money the tenants paid him that he was supposed to pay Duke, and now the power was going to be shut off while we, the tenants of the time, had to wait with anxiety wondering if we could operate because Sterling Phoenix took the $300,000 we had been paying him for our Duke bills. John Thomas was supposed to make $4 million in renovations to the building when he purchased it, but did not, and now it is completely fallen apart. The HVAC never worked - it was broken when it was hot during the summer, and broken was it was cold. Do you think people really want to go inside a building where there was no heat? That building went into foreclosure,and we were one of the first business to leave. No one will want to buy it and make all the repairs Sterling Phoenix was supposed to do in 2006. Our business was effected, and if ours was effected, so was Fresh. I'm sticking up for them because obviously whomever made the comment before me was associated with the previous owner who claimed bankruptcy, and is not telling the truth about the building, or the corrupt owner. John Thomas was was an FBI informant for 1 year in Chicago, and put some of his "friends" behind bars. According to an FBI affidavit, those "wrong decisions" that got him into some major hot water include, but were not limited to: drawing more than $350,000 from his customers' credit cards while he was running a billboard leasing business in Manhattan in the late 1990s. He also charged more than $140,000 to an American Express business account he obtained using his father's Social Security number. What a stand-up guy!
Don't try to tell me this kind of corruption didn't effect the business in The Bartlett Building -it most certainly did. Fresh, ours, and every other business in there. If it weren't for AA who ponied up the $30,000 for just one month to keep our power on at the end of the summer, we would have been out long before then. Feel free the read the despicable behavior of John Thomas, our previous owner of The Bartlett Building, here:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1968258/posts

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