Tucson, AZ

Food Network Chef Closes Restaurant After 4 Months

Greyson F

Despite appearing on Food Network, a local restaurant has closed.Photo byTim MossholderonUnsplash

Restaurants typically experience some kind of boost, either temporary or long-term, when the business or head chef makes an appearance on television programs. Establishments all around the world have made names for themselves through television features. And yet, this isn’t necessarily a guarantee. Some businesses are already struggling, and thus there is not enough time to capitalize on the 15 minutes of fame. Other times marketing fails, or there are other issues behind the scenes at play. Whatever the reason might be, the restaurant finds itself on the wrong side of the “Closing” sign. That is exactly what has now happened to one local business, despite some recent television success. 

Up until last week, The Lobby was posting updates to its various social media platforms, showcasing new menu items guests could sample and enjoy. The fast-casual restaurant, with Chef Cory Oppold at the helm, wanted to bring beautiful, yet quickly produced menu items to hungry visitors eager to satisfy their hunger while snapping a few Instagram posts before diving in. Despite previously appearing on Food Network’s Chopped program (he won the competition he was featured in), Chef Cory and The Lobby never materialized a steady fan base. Although, realistically, the restaurant never gave Tucson the opportunity to even discover it. 

The Lobby opened its doors to the community at the end of 2022. Open for less than four months, the 811 East Wetmore Road restaurant suddenly, and unexpectedly closed. You typically don’t expect a restaurant to jump in and jump out so quickly, and yet that is exactly what happened. No information has been released as to why the restaurant shut down. There are no social media posts on the restaurant’s Facebook or Instagram pages. However, the restaurant is now closed, and it is listed as “permanently closed” via its Google listing. 

In general, The Lobby was well received, as it maintained a 4.4 rating on Google with 24 reviews (although it had just a 3-star rating on Yelp, with only three reviews logged). 

The restaurant, which was also co-owned by Kyrie McRoy, a 2021 Tucson Knife Fight winner, is likely not making a return. However, Chef Cory already has his sights on two additional ventures. Course, and a breakfast restaurant known as Morning Would, are currently listed as “Coming Soon” on their respective Instagram pages, although very little information is currently available on the two restaurants regarding what will be served, where they will be located, and expected opening dates. 

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