The kitchen at Wapango, circa 2006
Word reached Gut Check Monday evening that the Chesterfield Mall restaurant Wapango
has closed. Saturday was its final day. The pan-Latin restaurant opened to generally positive reviews, mine among them
, in the summer of 2006.
"It's been great to be part of the Chesterfield community for the last four years," says owner John Gianoulis
. "We had a lot of loyal guests who truly enjoyed [Wapango]."
"Certainly the economic difficulties of the last two years were tough for a restaurant like ours to overcome," Gianoulis adds. "We feel very strongly about the concept and would love to be able to resurrect it at another place."
For those seeking confirmation that restaurant closures are on the upswing, Gianoulis shares a frightening anecdote: The person to whom he sold Wapango's equipment has bought the stock of eleven closed restaurants in eleven days.