Cebolla closes

Cebolla Bar & Grill closed its doors last week after four months in the old Stillwater location on Ashland Street.

The closure was confirmed by Steve Apted, who owns and leases the building at 1951 Ashland St.

Cebolla owner and head chef Kevin Dikes, 25, of Ashland, who opened the restaurant, bar and music venue on Oct. 31, has not returned numerous messages from the Daily Tidings.

On Feb. 17, Cebolla's Facebook page announced that the bar was struggling and needed additional support to stay open.

"Due to lack of funding and some of our investors pulling out before we could really get this place up and running, Cebolla Bar & Grill might have to shut its doors," the Facebook post stated.

"It must not have worked out for them," said Apted, 56, of Medford, who pulled the plug on the operation after Dikes couldn't come up with enough money to honor the lease agreement.

"They left owing me a lot of money," said Apted, who owns the Lumpy's chain in the Rogue Valley. "It's my fault for being too nice of a guy; I guess, I let it go for too long."

Apted declined to discuss the amount of money he lost on the endeavor, but said he won't attempt to collect the unpaid debt.

"What's the point?" he said, shrugging.

When Cebolla was preparing to open, Dikes said his plans were to use the building's roughly 3,000 square feet as a consistent and diverse multi-purpose venue, as it had been in the past.

The former Stillwater, which strove to host live music on a nightly basis, shut down in early 2009 when the bar was suspended from operating after a settlement with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission over a liquor liability insurance lapse.

Former owner Christopher Moeschl planned to reopen the building after the temporary suspension, but that never happened.

Now, Apted's stuck with an empty building.

"The pastel lavender isn't my cup of tea," he said about the building's latest paint job, —… but it might be the ticket for somebody."

Apted had tried to sell the building to Moeschl during its Stillwater days, but that deal fell through, he said.

"I'd like somebody who wants to operate a music venue to take it on," Apted said, though he would lease or sell the building for any purpose.

"Everybody wants it to be a venue "… but if someone wants to turn it into a dentist's office and rip all this stuff out, that'd be it," he said.

Apted already has shown the building to three interested parties since Cebolla closed, he said.

The cost of leasing it is about $2,800 a month, or, for about $595,000, he'll give it up, he said.

"It's too bad it had to close," Apted said. "Somebody who's music oriented and who knows what they're doing, and has a little cabbage, could really get this place going."

Apted said anybody interested in leasing the building can contact him at

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email

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