Durham, N.C. — After a rebranding and brief stint under a new chef, Motto has closed its doors in Durham.
Visitors noted via social media that the restaurant, located at 604 W. Main St., was closed Sunday night. The restaurant's Twitter and Facebook accounts and website were also shut down.
“The closing of Motto came unexpectedly,” said Kevin Jennings, co-owner of Urban Food Group, which owns Motto. “We were approached by a Durham restaurateur who expressed great interest in the space and the West Village community. He long-loved the concept and aesthetic of Motto and after vetting the Durham area for a new space, he was eager to move forward with his vision.”
Jennings added that the restaurant’s business was underperforming, so the decision was made to close and transition to the new owners.
"We want to thank all of our friends, family, team members and the Durham community for their support over the last year," Jennings said.
Motto was previously known as Lucia. The owners changed the name and concept about a year ago. The focus at first was on Italian cuisine, but that changed when Chef Garret Fleming, a former Bravo TV "Top Chef" contestant, took over as Chef de Cuisine late last year. Fleming shifted the menu to focus on a strong Charcuterie program from sustainable farmers and fresh pasta made and cut by hand in house daily.
Motto was part of Urban Food Group's portfolio of restaurants that also include Chow, Coquette and Vivace. There are also two new concepts expected to open in the Triangle area next year.