There’s good news for sushi-loving West Volusia foodies. Twisted Chopstick, closed since July, has found a new home and plans to reopen in DeLand within about two months.
There is some sad news for foodies: Jeoffrey Curtis’ restaurant is moving into what we’ve known for 18 years as Old House Café, at 412 S. Woodland Blvd.
Old House Café owner Colette Koop said it was time to let go of the restaurant her mother, Juanita Koop, had conceived and she had operated in the home her family owned since 1971, where Colette Koop and her siblings grew up and where she raised her son.
“I’m not really sad about it,” Colette Koop said. “We had a lot of really good memories in that house. … That’s what you take.”
Colette Koop opened Old House Café in 2004. She and her siblings had inherited the property when their mother died in 1995, and almost sold it then, Colette Koop said.
Over the past year or so, Old House Café has been closed or operating with reduced hours because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twisted Chopstick closed July 11, leaving its rented location in the DeLand Hotel at 442 E. New York Ave., after a dispute with the landlord.
Curtis, who closed on the $460,000 purchase Sept. 21, looks forward to installing new flooring, painting the interior and installing new furniture in the 1930s house.
In keeping with the Japanese feel of his eatery, he will also be putting koi fish in the pond on the patio out back, where Twisted Chopstick hopes to offer live music a few times a week.
The renovations, Curtis said, should take a month to two months to complete. Part of the transition will be an estate-type sale to clear out the antiques and knick knacks that were the Old House Café decor.
Colette Koop called it “eating in an antique shop,” and Old House Café customers were always welcome to purchase the furnishings. She removed family mementos, she said, but left many of the items that had given her Café its tea-room ambience.
Curtis, who also owns the Downtown DeLand restaurant Buddha Bowls, said his vision is to transform the Old House building into an izakaya — an informal Japanese establishment for eating and drinking.
Beer and wine — and saké, of course — will be on the menu, along with the 25-plus types of sushi rolls, ramen options and appetizers Twisted Chopstick customers are accustomed to.
Curtis said little will change on the Twisted Chopstick menu, although he and his mother, head chef Julie Curtis, may add a few surprises. Jeoffrey Curtis’ father, Roland Curtis, is also a member of the Twisted Chopstick team, along with six employees.
Including 22 seats on the patio, Curtis said, the restaurant’s new location will offer about 60 seats. He’s exploring the possibilities of converting the second floor, where Colette Koop lived, into a vacation rental.
The Old House Café kitchen, Curtis said, is well-equipped and in fine shape.
“It’s ready to go,” he said. “I don’t have to do anything.”
When he reopens, Colette Koop will be there.
“I like Twisted Chopstick’s food,” she said. “It’s very good.”
The Koop family gathered for a pizza dinner at the house on the last evening before the sale. Colette Koop said her 11-year-old granddaughter, Isla Jones, left a note for the new owner.
“Please take care of this house,” the note read. “It has a lot of love in it.”