News: Joanne Drilling no longer with Lavomatic; JR no longer at helm

Just got this passed on to me, via Pulse Magazine:

“Last Thursday I got fired from Lavomatic. Several weeks ago I got a memo explaining that the French guy who I have always loved working for was no longer my boss. In a rather bizarre twist of restructuring, others were now calling the shots. Like all good things that must come to an end, here I am.”

— Joanne Drilling

Looks like what a few of us had whispered about has come true: has JR’s Restaurant Group broken up into pieces?  Did Martin Wade get Lavo?  Who got the other restaurants?  What will become of this little gem in OTR?

I, for one, enjoyed every meal I had at Lavomatic–despite their missteps.  I knew this was a new concept, with a young staff, a new executive chef, and a new space.  I loved the experimentation.  I loved the seasonal food.  I hope that Dave and Burke and everyone else down there continue the really good thing they have going on.

So, what’s the scoop?  I haven’t seen anything about this anywhere else, so that’s all the info I have.
ETA: I have an unconfirmed report that Burke’s no longer there either. Working on it…

ETA: Burke is indeed gone.  I’m supposed to talk to him sometime soon, so anything I can share, I will.

Updated 11/16/08, from the Cincinnati Locavore discussion list:

From Joanne Drilling:
PLEASE SUPPORT RESTAURANTS THAT FEATURE LOCAL FOOD!!!
Until several weeks ago I was the chef at Lavomatic in OTR. We featured as much local food
as possible, working closely with Findlay Market vendors and implementing green practices
such as composting, recycling, no toxic chemical cleaning products etc. Unfortunately,
Lavomatic owners Marilyn and Martin Wade do not support anything that might affect their
bottom line profit, local foods included. I was routinely criticized for my “agenda” and
ultimately fired several weeks ago. At that time, I was told the Wades are restructuring the
restaurant based on a corporate chain model. So unfortunate.

The way we choose to spend our money has far reaching consequences. PLEASE support my
chef comrades who are committed to this cause so that they can continue their work.

In addition to those mentioned, Patrick McCafferty of Slims (Northside) does a TREMENDOUS
job with local foods, growing much of it himself.

Joanne Drilling