One of Fort Worth's most aspirational and exclusive restaurants has decided to close. Le Cep, the small fine-dining spot opened three years ago by husband and wife David and Sandra Avila, will close its doors on September 8. The couple announced the closure via a post on Facebook, with a thank you to customers.
"We want to thank all of you who have supported this crazy dream of ours by honoring us with your patronage during this time," the post said. "Over the past three years, we have met many wonderful people and developed great friendships that will last us a lifetime. We're very fortunate our paths have crossed. We wish you all the best, and once again, thank you for being there for us."
The decision to close was sudden. They posted their note on August 26, only two weeks after announcing an ambitious new menu on August 10, featuring their usual high-level gourmet food with dishes such as gazpacho, red cabbage salad, scallop with avocado mousse, and sous-vide duck breast with sage sauce udon.
The restaurant had a prix fixe model for $85, which tied you into an eight-course chef's menu — perhaps too complicated a concept. Even after offering a weeknight alternative of four courses for $45, the restaurant had a hard time attracting customers, especially with competition such as Saint-Émilion nearby.
The Avilas told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that they considered other options, including lowering prices, adding a full bar, or changing cuisine entirely from French to Spanish or Mediterranean.