Beard-nominated Chef Aaron Butts to close The Golden in Fort Wayne

Goddamnit. After a lot of planning, kitchen design innovation, gorgeous food and cocktails, The Golden is closing.

This statement was posted to The Golden’s Facebook page:

“For those of you who follow Fort Wayne food news you already know that we are closing this Sunday. It is sad for everyone involved in our restaurant the past year and few months. We want to personally thank any guest who became familiar with our staff, any guest who gave us a shot over his or her normal dining destination, and any guest who felt comfortable enough with our establishment to feel at home when you were here.

After announcing the news to our staff it became apparent to me that nobody ever felt like they were coming to work when coming to The Golden to provide a service for Fort Wayne. Over the past year we have had the luxury to employ some very talented bartenders, servers, and cooks who became real family in the end. We know that their time spent working at The Golden will reverberate through the Fort Wayne dining scene and possibly further. The greatest compliment, as sad as it sounds, has been tears from our staff. Knowing that we were able to instill a sense of care and passion into our staff for the food we were serving was a main priority from day one. We sincerely love the people who have worked for The Golden.

We cannot thank the producers enough or say the right words about how they are creating a food community in Fort Wayne, Indiana that rivals any city. It has been important to us and will always remain the top priority as we find our future in the food scene to provide our guests with the absolute best, most seasonal, most sustainable food being produced by people who really have a passion for food systems and the impact they play on societies.

We will challenge any guest of ours, who has thoroughly enjoyed our food, to seek out people who are growing and serving food with care. When you eat at a restaurant ask where your food is coming from. Encourage your favorite restaurant to seek out better suppliers if they are not already making that move. Be sure that the “local” restaurant that you are supporting with your money is in turn supporting local farmers with the money that they make. From the relationships that we have made with local producers I know there are plenty of avenues to get the things restaurants need. As we learned, it is difficult to make this kind of dining experience work financially, but it is a necessary step for the restaurant community to move in the direction of sustainability and locality as well as the consumer to realize that these things come with a little higher cost.

No doubt we made some mistakes along the way. We have learned over the past year and will continue to learn in the future to be able to offer the best in food and service to our respected communities. We cannot thank our guests enough for the opportunity to serve you. We have made numerous new friends through opening this restaurant and we will sincerely miss every single person who continuously showed up for the party on wayne. Serving all of you is the biggest reward we have gotten from The Golden and for that we will forever be grateful. One last big giant thank you to all staff, past and present, for investing time into The Golden. One last huge giant enormous thank you to every local producer who showed up to our back door to inspire what we do.

We love you all.”

Chefs Aaron Butts and Sean Richardson were nominated for a James Beard Award for The Golden in 2017.

We wish Butts, Richardson and the staff all the best luck in their new adventures, and we wish The Golden could have stuck around.




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