A sad closure to report as the year winds down: Jeff Buben’s longtime Southern restaurant Vidalia is closing its doors.
The Washington Post reports that chef and owner Jeff Buben and his wife Sallie have decided not to renew the restaurants lease. It expires after Dec. 15, which will be the final day of operation for the restaurant.
The space will eventually house the restaurant Honeysuckle, a project from chef Hamilton Johnson (a Vidalia alumnus) that has been operating as a pop-up. The space will get a complete renovation, with an aim of a January opening, according to the report.
Vidalia was a longtime standout for downtown restaurant-goers looking for high-end Southern cooking, though recent reviews have not been as favorable (including a 1.5 star review from critic Tom Sietsema earlier this year). Buben still has a presence in D.C. operating Capitol Hill’s Bistro Bis and downtown’s Woodward Table (and its adjoining cafe, Woodward Takeout Food).
UPDATE: The restaurant has released a statement about the closure. “While it is bittersweet, we realize change is inevitable,” said Buben. “We have been blessed with incredibly passionate, loyal and hard working employees, both past and present. Our gratitude to our loyal patrons cannot be put into words. For the support from the entire Washington, D.C. restaurant community over the years we will be forever grateful.”