Some Cincinnati residents are refusing to let the Sky Galley Restuarant & Bar at Lunken airport go down without a fight.
Cincinnati officials decided Thursday to cancel the city’s lease agreement with Kirby Brakvill, who has owned the restaurant for 20 years, after the Cincinnati Health Department found conditions that could lead to food safety risks.
When the news was posted in the Greater Cincinnati Politics Facebook Group, dozens of commenters disappointment about losing the historic spot and a few commenters accused the city of having an ulterior motive for canceling the lease.
An online petition to save the restaurant has already gathered nearly 9,000 signatures. The petition calls Sky Galley “a piece of Cincinnati history that deserves a chance” and says that the signatories “will do what [they] can to help keep [its] doors open.”
The restaurant’s lawyer, Steve Goodin, held out hope that the restaurant may be saved.
“We fully understand the issues the City has raised and look forward to re-engaging with city officials in the coming days,” he said. “We appreciate the support of our long-time patrons and the community and hope to continue serving them at this location.”
Before the decision Thursday, the city discussed proposals for improving and repairing the space with Brakvill. The lease agreement has been month to month since the actual lease expired in August 2016, so Brakvill said he was hesitant to invest in improvements to the location without a more permanent agreement that would allow Sky Galley to stay in Lunken for years to come.
“I’d like to be here for another 20 years,” he said.
Brakvill said he and the city hoped to reach a compromise on the amount each party would be responsible for paying to make the repairs. They discussed proposals at a meeting before Thanksgiving – the last communication Brakvill said he had with the city before receiving an email Thursday about the city’s decision to cancel the lease and re-take control of the property.
The email was a shock to Brakvill.
“I thought everything was great,” he said Thursday. “I’ve never missed a payment. I’ve never been late on a payment.”
City officials did not immediately respond for comment.
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