Peeve’s Public House is closing for two to three weeks while the owner brings in investors to beef up the business.
Craig Scharton, owner of the popular Fulton Mall eatery and pub, detailed his plans in a Facebook post Friday morning.
Investors experienced in the restaurant industry will help run the day-to-day business and fund a revamp of the restrooms, kitchen and back area. He also wants to add shelves to sell locally made products and switch to taking orders for food at tables instead of at the bar.
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“That takes painting and shelving and doing stuff you can’t really do while you’re open, he said.
The investment also would help Peeve’s get through the coming construction on Fulton Mall as it is turned into a street with cars. Scharton is talking with several investors, including one with decades of restaurant experience, but has not finalized anything yet.
“We’ve been hanging on by our fingernails since day one,” he said. “We know there are things we can do to make the customer experience better. I think now is a good time to do it.”
In January, the pub publicly pleaded for help from customers. Customers packed the place in the following weeks, “which was awesome, (but) it really made a lot of inefficiencies clear to us.”
All of this is happening about the same time Peeve’s welcomed a new chef, Matt Simons, a Fresno native from Portland, Ore.. Known for his pasties (pronounced “past-ees,” a sort of British pastry with meat and veggies inside) he needs a bigger mixer and more space.
Scharton – who does not have experience running a restaurant but used to head the city’s redevelopment efforts – says he needs people with more restaurant experience.
He also says he is exhausted and wants time to focus on his personal life and his role as Fulton Mall manager for the Downtown Fresno Partnership and other redevelopment projects.
“I haven’t left Fresno in four months except to pick up sausage at Chase’s Chop Shop (in Madera) in January,” he said. “You’ve got to have time for health and your real job.”
When Peeve’s reopens, he plans on remaining one of potentially several owners. The business will have a big party when it reopens.
In the meantime, Peeve’s will be open for the Red Coats/Known to Collapse/X Lovers show from 7-11 p.m. Saturday and again for the Arsenal match at 8 a.m. Sunday. Information about other scheduled events will be on Peeve’s Facebook page.
Despite the closure, Scharton is optimistic about the future, especially once Fulton Mall construction is finished.
“I have said I will never close the doors until someone actually makes me,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can do keep Peeve’s alive and healthy.”