2018's first restaurant closure: The much-lauded 510 Lounge & Private Dining

That's an 86 on 510.

That's an 86 on 510. Facebook: 510 Lounge & Private Dining

That was fast.

Just six months after 510 Lounge & Private Dining debuted in the old La Belle Vie space (R.I.P.), the restaurant has closed suddenly. According to a statement released yesterday, chef-owner Don Saunders decided to shutter the space for both personal and business reasons. "Unfortunately," he noted, "I have come to the realization that I'm being spread too thin. My staff has been fantastic, but I can no longer make the personal and financial sacrifices that excelling at both restaurants will require.”

“I feel really bad,” a chagrined Saunders said, adding that he still thinks the 510 concept was a solid one. “I’ve let a lot of people down, and that fact is keeping me awake at night." But he said he's excited to refocus his efforts on the Kenwood, his cozy, five-year-old neighborhood joint: "The Kenwood is a very special place, and I’ve learned that’s where my focus needs to be.”

The Lounge may have had a short run, but it was a highly lauded one. When it opened in July, we here at City Pages called it "the most civilized place in town to enjoy a drink," describing the space as "something out of Mad Men, but with a decidedly modern-day sensibility" and adding that it was the place to go for caviar.

Strib restaurant critic Rick Nelson similarly sung praises of the caviar -- "a no-brainer, given the sumptuous surroundings" -- among other things, in a glowing, three-star October review.

Wondering what to do with that 510 gift certificate you have lying around? Saunders said they'll be honored at the Kenwood, or you can contact him for a reimbursement