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February 19, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Artemis to close Saturday and re-jigger

When a friend called just before noon today with the news that the well-received young Capitol Hill restaurant, Artemis was planning a transformation, I figured I’d make a few phone calls to see what was what. But first I went out to lunch. My source let fly that owners (and former Microsofties) Oscar Velasco-Schmitz and Boris Gorodnitsky were seeking to bring down their payroll substantially, had given layoff notice to staffers and were preparing to re-jigger their bistro as a bar-centric hangout. And whaddaya know? This missive just in, courtesy of Velasco-Schmitz and Gorodnitsky (thanks fellas! you make my job easy!). Here’s their story, straight from the horse’s mouth:

We’re writing to let you know that we will be closing Artemis for a few weeks starting February 21st and have a scheduled reopening date of May 15th. In the interim we will be doing some remodeling and a bit of expansion. [Note from Nance: the May 15th is correct, the “few weeks” isn’t.]

Why?

Given our current economic climate, the model of fine/casual dinning is unfortunately not sustainable. So as good evolutionists, we will change to adapt to our environment.

What will be the same and what will be different?

We will maintain the name Artemis and the same beautiful space, but will focus more on the bar aspect of Artemis. We will offer much more affordable fare and adjust the interior space to emphasize a more casual atmosphere. When we re-open we will have seating in our back garden patio! Yes, you’ve heard correctly, we will finally open up the back in the garden with the view. So we will be prepared for you to spend a lot of time outside this spring, summer and early fall sipping mint juleps and margaritas while you enjoy contemplative views in our garden patio.

Can I still get yummy food and great drinks there?

Absolutely! Artemis will have delicious and economically approachable fare, accompanied by a larger selection and range in beer. And of course we will keep wine and our signature and classic cocktails on the menu. In addition, we will continue to have a full bar, a resource that we hope you will make very good use of. And yes, Spencer, this still means you can get a Grey Goose martini the way you like it.

We see this change as an opportunity to continue to provide an asset to our neighborhood and we ask for your encouragement, support and patronage in this endeavor.

We invite you to come enjoy the fruits of Artemis’ labor before she goes into a beauty sleep. Our last day is this Saturday Feb. 21st. Come say hello and enjoy in each other’s company.

Until very very soon,

Oscar Velasco-Schmitz & Boris Gorodnitsky

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