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Rick Robinson: Goodbye, Chez Nora, a Regular Setting in Author's Books

Author, attorney, and RCN contributor Rick Robinson reflects on the closure of Covington's Chez Nora, a regular setting in his books about fictional Northern Kentucky Congressman Richard Thompson.
 
Warren Zevon once commented that for a writer there is no such thing as fiction. I know this to be true. 
 
My own views, perspectives and likes continually flow onto the pages of my novels. 
 
Nowhere did Zevon’s theory prove truer for me than with all the scenes in my books that take place in and around Chez Nora in Covington’s MainStrasse Village. The fictional Richard Thompson and his friends liked Chez Nora, because, well, I liked Chez Nora.
 
In days gone past, I’d often simply sit at the bar and take notes of how I could weave the colorful scenery of Chez Nora into my next book. Alas, the news that Chez Nora has closed its doors is unfortunately fact, not fiction.
 
I liked Chez Nora because even when you stopped in by yourself it was nearly impossible to be alone. 
 
There was always a unique cast of characters to mingle with, including the owners, Jim and Pati Gilliece. 
 
For Jim, a stranger never walked through his door. 
 
I have a simple theory that all restaurants should be judged on the quality of their pork chops. And Pati made a pork chop that ranked in my all-time top five.
 
When Writ of Mandamus was picked by Northern Kentucky’s libraries as its choice for “One Book One Community,” Chez Nora catered each event with a special pork chop “slider” in a Guinness glaze.
 
Tough economic times often have the harshest impact on local, small business men and women. 
 
Without the advantage of national advertising pushing people to through the doors and the buying power of a corporate supply chain driving down costs, family-owned businesses suffer. 
 
In the end, even the best pork chop in the world can’t carry some businesses through the times.
 
So, good by Chez Nora. Richard Thompson and all of his fictional pals will miss you. And so will I.
 
For more about Rick Robinson and his books, click here.
 
Photo provided by Rick Robinson