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First Scullery, Now the Cornthwaites Sell Stake in Inspire

The rumors are confirmed, big changes coming for Inspire.

Bradley Martin

A week after the shutter of Scullery, Michael and Jennifer Cornthwaite have officially and very, very quietly announced Inspire is now no longer part of their downtown vision:

Future Restaurant Group is pleased to announce the sale of our interest in Inspire and Scullery.  It was a privilege, challenge, and joy to play our role in the conceptualization, design, and operations of two beautiful properties in downtown.
It is our intention to focus our efforts on other current operations and on new upcoming projects.

Whispers of financial difficulties and never-ending murmurings over the lack of worthy bookings for the venue were finally, publicly voiced last month by Paul Carr, editorial director of Pando. Carr reports Wendoh Media has taken control of Inspire, while the building remains part of the Downtown Project realty portfolio.

As Eater Vegas has been tracking, the Downtown Project's retreat from non-profitable or potentially risky businesses is now at full steam and Carr reports DTP's focus will be in real estate and promoting existing success stories, like Eat and the Gold Spike.

Carr's source revealed "that it was unlikely that much, if any, money changed hands in the deals." Wendoh publishes free publications Vegas Seven, Vegas/Rated and the DTLV blog and also operates Park on Fremont directly across the street from Inspire,  Commonwealth on the opposite end of Inspire's block and Itsy Bitsy: Ramen & Whisky.

Wendoh will eventually be placed in charge of The Wheelhouse indoor and outdoor music venue, currently under construction a few steps from The Bunkhouse indoor and outdoor music venue.

Inspire debuted in January 2014 with the aim to create a powerhouse downtown venue suitable for TED-style speakers, live productions and music. A relentlessly insipid calendar of bookings doomed the project to hosting small community-focused filler events rather than true headliner evenings able to attract tourists and non-downtown residents.

Inspire still hosts the Inspire News Café, The Roof bar, Wayfarer Bar plus the Second Floor Lounge and 365 Tokyo bar, both of which require memberships for admission. Before the sale, members needed to cough up a minimum of $200 per person a year. No word on how the handover will affect members' access or benefits.

Keeping with the always haphazard nature of the Future Restaurant Group online presence, the FRG website still lists Inspire and Scullery as part of the company. The Cornthwaite's continue as the operators of Downtown Cocktail Room, The Beat Coffeehouse & Records, Emergency Arts and Oscar’s Steakhouse.


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