The restaurant and bar Peculiar Rabbit, long known for its rooftop bar and brunch menu, closed its doors to the public Sunday night.
The local hangout first opened in 2012 at 1212 Pecan Ave., in the heart of Plaza Midwood.
Owner Rob Nixon had put the triangle-shaped property up for sale last spring, but he couldn’t agree on a price with prospective buyers. Now, Nixon will maintain ownership of the property, and it’ll be available to rent out for private parties and events moving forward.
Nixon cited a slump in sales in recent years as the reason he has decided to shut down the business. Customers have more options these days given the rapid growth of breweries in the area, he told the Agenda.
It’s no longer sustainable to keep losing money on Peculiar Rabbit, Nixon said. It’s hard to find and keep good workers these days, he said. Often, the restaurant’s quality of service suffered.
It’s also difficult, he added, to keep good staff and maintain good service and high quality food while also managing to have strong sales.
On top of that, profit margins are very thin in the restaurant industry.
“It’s easier for us to make money running events for special occasions and hire temporary staff … than it is for us to open up for Monday to Sunday operations with the sales we’re doing,” Nixon said.
Peculiar Rabbit employs about a dozen people, and Nixon said he plans to find them jobs at other restaurants/bars nearby. Nixon also owns Jackalope Jacks, The Rabbit Hole, and Smoothie Monkey, and all of those spots will remain open.
Peculiar Rabbit is an 8,000-square-foot, two-story building with a rooftop bar well-known for its skyline views.
“We had a good eight-year run,” Nixon said.