By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer
NEWPORT - Forget about getting a table at Chart House restaurant during Tall Stacks. No, it's not booked with diners hungry for a river view. It's closed.
Catherine Huggins made reservations at the pricey seafood restaurant months ago because she figured it would be the perfect place to dine with her out-of-town guests as Cincinnati pays homage to the riverboat.
Huggins didn't learn of the closing until she called to confirm her reservations early this week. The news left her scrambling to get a coveted table with a view at another riverfront restaurant.
"I called and they said they were closed for renovations," said Huggins, who works for a large Cincinnati company."There was no other explanation. It really frustrated me and my husband."
A spokesman for Chart House's parent company, Landry's Restaurant Inc., said Friday that the company was working to make accommodations for everyone with reservations.
Landry's, a publicly traded company based in Houston, purchased the Chart House chain in July 2002. Landry's also owns family-oriented Joe's Crab Shack less than a quarter-mile away, on the Ohio River in Bellevue.
Newport City Manager Phillip Ciafardini said the closing of Chart House last weekend surprised him. The restaurant was a key tenant in the city's $60-plus million Channel Crossing project that includes a Comfort Suites and Don Pablo's restaurant.
"We knew eventually they were going to make the conversion," he said, "but the timing doesn't make sense with Tall Stacks and the upcoming holiday season."
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