Food & Drink

Last location of popular Charlotte restaurant group closes

jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

The final location in what had been a popular Charlotte restaurant group has closed, its owner confirmed Monday.

Chef/owner Tom Condron’s other two restaurants, The Liberty in South End and Lumiere in Myers Park, had already closed. Condron tried to keep the remaining location of The Liberty in Blakeney open but closed it last week.

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After making his name in Charlotte as the executive chef of the Harper’s restaurant group, including as chef at Upstream and Mimosa Grill, Condron had gone into partnership with Matthew Pera to open The Liberty, a gastropub known for massive burgers and chef touches like housemade pickles. Another location and the French spot Lumiere followed.

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The business was thrown into disarray with Pera’s sudden death in April. A native of Charlotte, Pera was well known in restaurant circles as a manager and expert in hospitality.

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Matthew Pera, left, and chef/owner Tom Condron were partners in The Liberty and Lumiere. Wendy Yang wyang@charlotteobserver.com

After Pera’s death, Condron closed the original location of the Liberty on May 10, saying he wanted to concentrate on keeping the Blakeney location open. A lawsuit has been filed by the food service company Sysco, seeking payment of a bill.

When reached by The Observer on Monday, Condron gave no further comment, other than to confirm that the Blakeney location has closed and that he is planning to sell the location’s lease and equipment.

A recent health department inspection gave the restaurant a "C" rating because of sanitation problems among other issues.

The 19th annual Taste of Charlotte event kicked off Friday with thousands of people walking down S. Tryon Street sampling food from over 100 local restaurants.

Kathleen Purvis; 704-358-5236.
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