Tuesday, November 25, 2008

oZ Owner's Email: Rumors of Closing Untrue

The owner of oZ Chophouse in Maple Lawn, Katie Buscher, found it necessary to send a special email to patrons today. The gist of it is here:
I have been receiving several phone calls asking if oZ. is closing it's doors soon. This is disheartening to me and concerns me greatly. As the owner of oZ. I wanted to let everyone know that what has been said is completely untrue. All of us at oZ. are working hard to make it through these tough economic times and I am confident that oZ. will survive it. Everyday we are trying to come up with new ideas for our guests so that we can keep all of you coming back. We have started new specials and promotions and we just put a coupon out in the Smart Shopper Magazine. We realize that these times are hard on everyone and we are working on "economizing" our menu so that our guests feel more comfortable coming here for a night out. We will be releasing a revised menu after the first of the year.
The restaurant business is rough even in the best of times. In today's economy it's especially hazardous. We've already lost some favorite local restaurants in recent months, including oZ's neighbor, Trapeze. Last night I happened to read Columbia Compass's elegy to the Rocky Run Tap & Grill and all the comments to it. It's a reminder of the sense of community a good restaurant can foster, and how much wider is the loss when one closes.

I'm glad that oZ Chophouse appears healthy, and I especially applaud the concept of a revised, more economical menu in the works. The looming storm will be difficult for everyone, but I like the idea of a restaurant being willing to meet its customers halfway. An innovative menu of smaller items, lower priced but still well prepared, would be welcome. Goodness knows, Americans can afford to lose a few calories off the plates when they go out. But it's also important that folks still find a reason and the will to go out and spend some money from time to time. We have precious few quality restaurants in the county and we don't want to lose any more.

oZ Chophouse is on our list of Howard County's Best Restaurants.

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