Early this year, Dwayne Gauthier was talking enthusiastically about expanding Cities Gastro Pub — which operated in Red Deer and Sylvan Lake — to other communities.
Now it appears the culinary business has disappeared altogether.
The two restaurants, located at 3301 Gaetz Ave. in Red Deer and at Ryders Square in Sylvan Lake, are both closed.
Signs on their doors indicate they are no longer in business, and staff at businesses near the Red Deer site say it’s been locked up since at least Monday.
Dwayne and his twin brother Darren opened Cities Gastro Pub in Red Deer in June 2011.
It had previously operated as Restaurant 27 and Lounge, which the brothers started in January 2008 and earned a Red Deer Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award for in 2010.
They said the rebranding from Restaurant 27 to Cities Gastro Pub marked a switch from fine dining to a more casual, international menu.
The Gauthiers started the Sylvan Lake Cities Gastro Pub in January 2012.
In February, they auditioned for an appearance on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Dwayne said he and Darren saw the show as a way to generate the capital to grow the Cities Gastro Pub concept.
“If we had dragons on board and they believed in our concept, then things would probably move along quite a bit quicker,” Dwayne said at the time.
Neither Dwayne nor Darren could be reached for comment on Wednesday.