Restaurant Abruptly Shuts its Doors with Wedding, Easter Reservations on the Books

DRUMS -- A restaurant abruptly shut its doors this week with wedding and Easter reservations still on the books.

Employees at Theodora's Restaurant said it all happened so suddenly and they were not told why it was being closed.

Jack Evans, who has been working with Theodora's Chef Drew Wandishin for the past two years, snuck in a last look at the closed sign on Thursday to help the reality sink in.

"It's just a shame," Evans said. "Never would I have ever thought that I would be interested in culinary but after working with Drew, there's just something about him that you just learned the type of person he was by reading his food specials."

Evans said his last day was unlike any other. He showed up for his regular shift and before it was over he was told he was out of the job.

"My friend Ryan came in and he's like, 'you got to look at the outside doors,' and it said, 'Theodora's will be closed for the next few days due to a broken pipe,' and I'm like, 'there's not a broken pipe,' and then my manager said, 'you're good to leave,'" Evans said.

He was thankful for one thing though, he was able to meet with managers and get his last paycheck this morning.

Employees said Theodora's officially shut its doors on Tuesday and held a private event on Wednesday.

The restaurant left the following message on its voicemail for anyone who had current reservations.

"Hello, unfortunately, Chef Drew has closed Theodora's. If you have a reservation or a private event booked with us we will be contacting you soon. Thank you."

Theodora's replaced what was the well-known Stage Coach Inn at 668 North Hunter Highway.

Patrons said they're disappointed to see the latest business there go.

"I was shocked, surprised, actually. Driving past there at night there was a lot of business, a lot of cars, a lot of people, just to have it shut down it was shocking," Drums resident Kevin Yurkanin said.

Newswatch 16 reached out to the owner of the building, Lori van Hoekelen for a comment.

"The lease between Theodora's and V H Real Estate has been terminated. At this time, future plans for the facility are undetermined. When or if any plans are determined we will announce it," van Hoekelen wrote.

Newswatch 16 also called Chef Drew Wandishin multiple times for a comment. He did not return our calls.

9 comments

  • LizzieOnTheMountain

    There are at least 10 dining establishments in the Moutaintop Top area that survive almost exclusively on Pizza & Wing sales. It’s unfortunately just not the area for a high end establishment to be successful.Theodora’s is closed; Damenti’s burned and it doesn’t seem like they are in hurry to open back up, and The Aberdeen Inn’s new ownership gave up all that place’s dignity and class to stir up some business but I bet they’ll be closed next… 6 packs to go won’t keep a pricey place open. Can’t wait for La Napoli 3 to take it over LOL

  • the dude

    i’m not so sure what anyone saw in that chef. while i was a saute chef at another local restaurant he blatantly copied our ahi tuna taco and added it to his specials list as if it was his idea. i cant imagine what else he hijacked and claimed for himself. its still a great location and building so it will make room for a truly good high-end establishment hopefully.

  • Gary Williams

    one of the problems is, the heavy township and state police presence in Drums anymore ,there are police along route 309 all hours of the day and night, pulling people over and harassing them, and having a bar/restaurant business there, no doubt the patrons are afraid to have a few drinks for fear of getting a DUI. that stretch of road from the old Damenti’s location to Hazleton is lined with speed traps, police with radar, lines painted on the road. who would want to stop at a bar/restaurant there to be hassled by the police when you leave ? drink 2 beers and you lose your license for 3 months, and pay $5000 in legal fees and fines. no thanks !! close all the restaurants, maybe they’ll get the message.
    another thing is, the Stage Coach was remodeled at huge expense- if it’s a lease problem, that means THEY TRIED TO RAISE THE RENT, and the restaurant owner said screw this. “lease” if a fancy name for JACKED UP RENT.

    • Seriously

      Gary, how about a better solution. Instead of breaking the law and going to the bar/restaurant and getting all smashed up and then driving home, have an iced tea, soda, or water with your meal! By the way, 2 beers won’t get you a DUI. 22 beers will, but certainly not 2

  • WarningFakeNews

    I think it’s something like 90% of restaurants fail in the first 5 years. That might be something to take into consideration before buying a gift card from one, or putting down a large deposit for an event.

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