Food takes its final bow: The Magnetic Field gives up dinner and cocktails

photo by Max Cooper

The Magnetic Field is scaling back its attractions. The bar and café will close after Dec. 22., but the performance house will remain. You can still see shows there without libations or food.

For two years, the eatery has been a force for craft cocktails and creative eats. When The Magnetic Field opened in 2010, owner and producer Chall Gray says he planned for the restaurant to help support the theater financially . “We always have had it set up as a synergistic relationship between the two businesses, where the restaurant would be able to service the patrons of the theater, and the theater patrons would bring traffic to the restaurant,” he says.

Now, the Magnetic Theatre is growing, Gray says. Ticket pre-sales are the best in the theater's history for the upcoming play, “The 30th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular.” It's not that the theater has outgrown the restaurant, Gray says; rather, the theater is strong enough to operate independently. “Now the theater has grown and burgeoned to the extent that it's going to have its own space,” he says.

Chef Liam Luttrell-Rowland will move on to The Admiral, while Chef Jason Rowland is still “exploring his options,” according to Gray.

Gray says he's pleased with his time as a restaurant owner in the River Arts District, and he expects a new restaurant will rent the café space.“The district as a whole is a really fantastic area that promotes the type of creativity and embraces the type of creativity that we do,” he says. “It's the perfect home for us.”

Mountain Housing Opportunities, a nonprofit focused on community development, manages the restaurant property. Cindy Weeks, Rental Development Manager, says MHO is looking for an appropriate tenant for the space. “We're just going to take a little time and make sure we get a good fit for the theater,” she says. “It's been upfit as a restaurant and bar space, and it will continue as that under a new business owner.”

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