From toast of the town to toast in 20 months.

It has to be the fastest fizzle in Louisville restaurant history.

Yet, our  Steve Coomes suspected it that it might happen from the giddy-up.

Steve’s post last Friday about Mozz closing – and all the drama in all the cities that preceded it – got tens of thousands of page views and 115 Facebook “likes.”

It also got a lot of push back from Mozz co-founder and chef Matthew Antonovich, who was less than happy about Steve’s take on the whole ordeal.

Alas, we think Antonovich doth protest too much.

We’re confident this (unedited) news release is the final nail in the Mozz coffin.

Mozz Restaurant has ceased operations

In a statement by Matthew Antonovich, President and Founder of Mozz, Mozzarella Bar & Enoteca, Antonovich announced that the 20 month old food concept has ceased operations on September 8, 2012. Its last Saturday night of business doing 80 covers with a check average of $51.00 per person would not reopen.

Antonovich quoted “The restaurant could not continue to stay open due to lack of enough sales and guest counts to run the business with a profit. Mozz sales declined by 50% its second year due to economic conditions and 9 new restaurants opening just outside the restaurants front door taking an average of 50 covers a day away from Mozz. The restaurant could not maintain our high standards of excellence that we achieved in our first year when we were voted “Best New Restaurant 2011” by the local voter’s poll from Louisville Magazine. Also voted #2 best Pizza in Louisville in 2012. Our average guest counts went from 122 daily diners to 50 a day and our break even is 100 covers per day. So we tried to make adjustments over the last 9 months to keep Mozz open but it was inevitable that we could not make a profit.

I would like to thank the Mozz management team, its dedicated employees and our partners and investors who put Mozz on the map as best new restaurant and provided the leverage to provide Louisville diners an exciting place downtown to dine. Mozz provided some of the best food in town and guest enjoyed the entertainment, ambiance and the restaurant. Those who participated in Mozz gave their best efforts to collaborate on a project that did make a difference in Louisville, even though short lived Mozz provided something special for all involved.”