by Pete Mazzaccaro
Solaris Grille, the popular outdoor dining spot at 8201 Germantown Ave., closed its doors for good on Thursday night, ending a 15-year run.
“This is a sad day for me and my family,” said chef/owner John Anderson in an e-mail Friday evening. “We have worked very hard and put a lot of our heart and soul into the restaurant.”
Anderson said that he tried to keep the restaurant going during a very difficult year, but just didn’t get a break. As bills piled up and he had to let help go, service suffered and business declined.
“We were unable to recover from the economic climate,” he said in an e-mail Friday. “We were optimistic that things were going to improve and they didn’t. I began laying off employees (some who had worked for me for 8 years) to try to keep going.”
Asked about what factors played a part in the restaurant’s troubles, Anderson said the cost of business was just too high.
“Exorbitant rent, high utilities,” he said. “The sales just couldn’t sustain the overhead.”
Anderson said he still owns one small operation in Oreland, but it’s not enough to support his family an he’s currently looking for work.
“I loved my time in Chestnut Hill,” he said. “I spent 12 years of my life in Solaris. Mostly good times with interesting fun people. I will truly miss it and the ability to be of service to so many friends and organizations.”