The daily operations of the Tangier restaurant are back in the hands of the George family.
Ed Sutter, who took over Tangier under a lease agreement with the George family 13 months ago, said Friday that he had relinquished control for financial reasons.
Sutter said he will continue to operate his three other businesses, the Imperial Event Center in Broadview Heights and two catering services, Red Letter Events and Grills & Thrills.
''When we took the Tangier over, I had very ambitious plans,'' said Sutter, an Akron native and graduate of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Sutter said he believes the George family still has similar plans to revitalize the property.
But Sutter said he has not been able to find a developer to provide the financial backing to re-create Tangier.
''I don't have that kind of wherewithal,'' he said.
Sutter said he and Tangier owner Edward George ended Sutter's lease agreement on amicable terms. The deal was effective Monday, but Sutter said he was still at the restaurant on Friday working out details.
''Ed George did want me to stay to operate the place,'' said Sutter.
But Sutter said he would need to give up his other three businesses if he were to stay with Tangier, and he didn't want to do that.
''Red Letter Events still has three strong groups going for it and we're looking at other opportunities,'' Sutter said. ''We've got to get back on financially stable ground. We have had a bit of a challenge over the last 13 months.''
Sutter said his businesses were not in danger of bankruptcy, but he needed to focus on them. He declined comment when asked whether he had lost money on the Tangier venture.
George declined comment, saying Sutter's statements were everything that needed to be said.
''I'm sorry, I don't have any comment,'' said George.
Sutter said he still believes Tangier, which opened in 1948, can be revitalized ''with the proper moves'' and the right investor with money.
He declined to say how much of an investment he believed would be needed. Sutter said he met with many area developers trying to secure a partner for the project.
''It's important to the city of Akron. It's in a location (on West Market Street near downtown) you don't want to see anything bad happen and I think we made progress. We were making definite progress,'' said Sutter.
Sutter said he made many positive changes in designing events and increased sales in the event area. What Sutter called ''dream weddings'' increased from 19 in 2006 to just under 40 this year.
Still, the restaurant has a high overhead and costs.
''I think you have to make some pretty dramatic changes,'' he said.
Sutter said Tangier employs about 60 to 70 people, who will stay. He had another 40 people in his catering business, who will go with him. The chef will remain at Tangier, he said.
City of Akron spokesman Mark Williamson said in a statement: ''Yesterday and today — Tangier has always been in capable, caring hands, and we most certainly want it to succeed.''
Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at
330-996-3724 or blinfisher@