When presenting the concept of Red Martini 7 years ago, I was met with much doubt that a martini restaurant & bar could make it in Redmond. For you see, Redmond was still considered a “cowboy town” at that time and certainly no one from Bend would drive to Redmond for dinner was the common thought then.
I, however, saw the community of Redmond through a different lens. I saw the potential of a thriving and diverse culinary treasure with offerings for everyone including the great ranchers in Central Oregon. The community of Redmond is truly a hub of loveliness – the beauty, charm and best of all the people. We have such an amazing and eclectic sampling of so many great people. People who have lived here their entire life and others who have traveled the world, lived all over the country and hand picked our community to move to, raise their families, retire and spend the remainder of their life.
Together, we created a very special meeting place at Red Martini to escape and treat ourselves. Guests oftentimes picked up their glass, walked around the restaurant to socialize with everyone in the room as if we were one big family. That was my dream. I’m so thankful for your support as it was you who inspired me and kept us going for so long.
Amidst all the joy, there have been many challenges over the nearly 7 years in business with many sacrifices both personal and professional. Afterall, it’s the restaurant business! Four months ago, when Covid hit, I didn’t think I could make it work. A restaurant like Red Martini is something you don’t think about for Take-Out and with no alcohol sales allowed, forget it! I sat down with Alex at the restaurant and talked about it and he convinced me that we got this! He volunteered his time to come in and distribute the meals I prepared as special as he could with those extra special Alex touches including running orders out to guests waiting in their cars! To our delight – we instantly became a Take-Out restaurant even without the alcohol. I was certainly encouraged.
When Phase One was approved, we opened the dining room with limited seating to comply which took us from 13 tables and 12 barstools to only 4 tables and no bar seating. The guidelines state NO bar seating unless it faces a wall or window. Interesting especially since we are required to wear masks but, we tried to comply!
Think about it, our business is hospitality – we warmly greet guests, visitors and strangers alike and enjoy treating you to a one of a kind experience. Suddenly, the hospitable experience started to feel more clinical.
I had high hopes for Phase Two and when announced last week, that hope was gone. Absolutely no changes for us with the exception of the option to stay open until midnight – which we’ve never done! Red Martini is a small intimate restaurant and as a single owner/operator I sadly cannot make it work with the current guidelines.
Today, with extreme sadness, I announce the permanent closing of Red Martini. I thank you all for your friendship, business, support and incredible memories created over these magical 7 years. As I enter the next chapter of my life, whatever that will be, I will think of you often, miss you terribly and forever hold you in my heart.
With Red Martini love,