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Downtown restaurant Dot x Ott permanently closed

Popular downtown restaurant Dot x Ott is now permanently closed.

Owners Jessica and Jeremy Blackwell shared the news via social media on Tuesday, thanking their customers and staff "who showed up during a time when staffing was so difficult."

The couple said they did not want to fight "a constant uphill battle."

"This is not a one-reason decision," the post read. "It was a culmination of many things — COVID, staffing (though we need to give a huge thank you to our staff that was with us up until today), funding, shut-downs, numbers, etc."

Dot x Ott opened in April 2019 in the growing downtown sector often referred to as Eastchester, which is also home to Cafe Smitten, Angry Barnyard BBQ and 17th Place Townhomes.

The restaurant emphasized local connections, selling many Bakersfield-made products in its mercantile and highlighting locally grown produce through a partnership with farmer Mary Jean Russell, then of Pickalittle Farms (now Fortitude Farm).

It was open less than a year before the pandemic shutdown in March 2020. 

"We tried to hang on, but like many, we ended up closing our doors and losing most of our staff," Jessica Blackwell told The Californian in June about the year the business was closed.

Of reopening this April, Blackwell said, "We thought it would be a bit easier, but it came with its own set of challenges. Staffing became very difficult, and still is. We battle this every single day but the staff that we do have has been wonderful and they have worked really hard in an ever-changing industry."

In Tuesday's post, the Blackwells said they had put their all into the business and were proud of how it had evolved.

"We will go out thankful with the opportunities, thankful for those in the community who supported us, and thankful for those who wrote nice reviews."

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.