Catablu restaurant, located in a refurbished theater on Broadway, is moving to Covington Plaza.
Mike and Maureen Catalogna opened the upscale American restaurant in 1998 in an extensively remodeled historic theater at 930 Broadway owned by local businessmen Steve Shine, Joel Fremion and Phil Terrell.
But over the past five years the restaurant has seen a steady decline in business, particularly on weeknights, Maureen Catalogna said. It appeared people were choosing Catablu more as a weekend or special-occasion type of restaurant.
The Catalognas hope to increase business by moving to a higher-traffic location on the busy West Jefferson Boulevard corridor. Catablu Grille will open in late June next to Mitchell Books in the spot formerly occupied by Vigneto. Catablu also will operate its catering business out of the new location.
The news comes on the heels of another restaurant closing on Broadway just south of Catablu. Chappell's Coral Grill, 2723 Broadway, is closed and for sale. The restaurant opened in a new location on Coldwater Road several months ago. The Broadway location reopened for a short time earlier this year before closing about three weeks ago.
As for the Catablu building, the Catalognas are working with the owners to still use the former theater, although Maureen Catalogna said it was too early to reveal those details.
“It is a fabulous building,” she said. “We have done very well there.”
Still, times have changed, she said, speculating people are no longer willing to drive out of their way to go to a restaurant. She said it was taking a lot more advertising dollars “to keep Catablu on people's minds.”
An announcement on the transformation of the theater into a new use will be made in the near future, she said, adding it takes creativity to draw people down to the Broadway corridor. She's confident the new use for the historic theater will enhance the area.
“I'm not really too concerned about Broadway,” she said.
Those who want to enjoy a last meal at Catablu in the old location better move fast: The restaurant closes May 29. It opens for dinner at 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Call 456-6563.
Meanwhile the former Vigneto location will be remodeled with a different feel, and the kitchen will be expanded, Maureen Catalogna said.
Initially it will only be open for dinner, but may open for lunch at some point, she said. Catablu Grille will offer a broader menu, including salads, flatbreads and appetizers along with the classic entrees created by Chef Tony Valenza.