BLATTY’S RESTAURANT: EXOR-CISE IN FUTILITY?

Last month, we reported that Chops, a restaurant owned by Exorcist author William Peter Blatty and his Dallas associate James Butler, was planning to open in the former Calluaud location on Fairmount in early January. It didn’t. The delay has nothing to do with bedevilment or jinxes, mind you. It’s just that some documents essential to the opening of Chops disappeared for three weeks and were later found in the walk-in freezer, beneath some boxes that weren’t there before. Just as work was resuming, an ephemeral crew with solid mallets went in and unaccountably demolished a fire-place, causing the chimney to topple through the roof of the 110-year-old structure. The County Historical Society asked, spiritedly, how such demolition could occur at the stately and historical site. It was the first co-owner Butler had heard of any plans to demolish the chimney. No one will admit to having wielded the mallet. No one will confess to having given the work order. No one will even say “The devil made me do it.” As the bricks and debris were being swept up, the owners were talking about taking, uh, possession in early February.

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