Ashley and Michael Darby's Arlington, Virginia restaurant OZ is set to shutter on June 30 after four years in business. The Real Housewives of Potomac couple restaurant both released heartfelt statements, which explained the reason behind the sudden closure.
"While Michael and Ashley are both involved in multiple business ventures and are expecting their first child in the coming weeks, they have made the difficult decision to close the restaurant," said an official statement released by Eater. Michael added, "We are replacing one Aussie baby with a new Aussie baby, as we prepare to welcome our little boy."
The couple's first shared child is due in just a few weeks.
For her part, Ashley said, "It has been four years since the restaurant opened and we have had the best employees anyone could ask for and we have made so many new friends who have patronized Oz."
Later, she added in a new statement sent to The Feast: "Michael and I have throughly enjoyed having Oz and greatly appreciate the incredible staff who made Oz the special place it was. Now, with Baby D making his arrival any day now and our priorities shifting to other ventures, it is time to close this chapter. As I launch my ZenGem brand and Michael continues to build his thriving real estate business, there is much more in store for us and we are excited to see what the future holds!"
In the past, Ashley has been candid about the difficulties of running a restaurant — particularly one that serves Australian fare. In an interview with The Daily Dish, the yoga enthusiast said, "The reason it's been challenging is because there's really no definition as to what Australian cuisine is. I can't say that it is like Asian cuisine where there's a lot of spices and a lot of different elements of noodle dishes and things like that. Australian cuisine is very influenced by British cuisine. So it's very meat and potato, protein, starch, and vegetable-focused. So we've had to find some way to kind of blend that with the American palate. Australia now has a huge Asian influence, so it's a meld. But we're trying to be traditional Australian, it could be pretty lackluster, which we learned the hard way."
In its final iteration, the menu at the soon-to-shutter eatery includes orecchiette with lemongrass cream sauce, truffled mac and cheese, and lamb pie with Moroccan spices. There will be one last meal service — an extended Sunday brunch — on Sunday June 30.
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