WESTERLY — The Twisted Vine, a popular, family-run restaurant and bar on Canal Street in downtown Westerly, will close its doors for the last time on Sunday, Feb. 24., according to Pat Isted, who owns the business with her daughters, Cecelia and Lily.
"I want to semi-retire," said Isted by email Tuesday afternoon, "and my daughters, who are my whole support system, want to pursue careers in other areas."
"Our lease was up at the end of this year, at which time I was not going to renew," she added. "I'm taking some time to travel, then looking forward to working in some capacity in hospitality again. It's in my blood."
Isted leases the space — which is inside the Nardone Building, next door to the United Theatre — from 82 High St. LLC, one of the downtown properties owned by Royce Family Fund. Other tenants in the Nardone Building are Christina Ltd., Longo's Pizzeria Osteria, and the Pink Poodle Parlor.
Dan King, executive director of Royce Family Fund, said Isted reached out to him about six months ago to discuss the idea of ending the lease at the end of 2019.
"We said absolutely," said King, who ran two downtown restaurants himself, Up River Café and Senor Flacos. "We know how all-consuming restaurants can be."
About three months ago, he said, Isted contacted him again, and asked about ending the lease even earlier.
All parties agreed, he said, and the fund reimbursed Isted for the "beautiful" renovation work she did before opening the restaurant in 2012.
"It was a mutual decision," said King. "The Twisted Vine is a great restaurant and Pat has been a good tenant."
"We're not sure what's going to happen" with the space, added King, "but we know it will obviously play a role in the overall economic development of downtown Westerly."
Isted said, "We have had a lot of fun and wonderful experiences. I have loved opening our doors every day to our customers, many of whom have become our friends. From weddings to birthdays, reunions, anniversaries, I have had the privilege of meeting some great people from this community. It is not cliche to say that that has been the very best part of it."
Isted said she was appreciative of her "hardworking" staff who are "so good at what they do," and of her son, Evan, "who took a leap of faith eight years ago, to help me realize the Twisted Vine." Evan Isted, who went on to another restaurant venture at the Velvet Mill in Stonington, was a co-owner of the Twisted Vine when it opened.
Pat Isted said, "I'm pleased that I could contribute in some way to the United Theatre's growth. Working with Dan King has been a pleasure and I'm excited for what the theater will bring to Westerly." The theater is undergoing an extensive renovation.
Isted said the community is invited to a customer appreciation closing party on Sunday, Feb. 24, beginning at 2 p.m. "Light fare" will be provided, she said, along with a "cash bar."
Visit http://thetwistedvineri.com for more information.