1 Fresh Stir Fry Grill says goodbye

After 23 years, 1 Fresh Stir Fry Grill, the fast-casual restaurant specializing in Asian and Pan-Asian cuisine, has closed for good.

“Thanks for the honor, I mean it. It was a lot of fun,” owner Bill Poole said in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat on Friday evening.

Poole also said in a Facebook video posted Friday that he had a good run in Tallahassee, but wanted to be able to close on his terms, “on top of his ability,” with an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“I didn’t want to be pushed out,” he said. “We’ve always been good. We had no problems with the company at all.”

The offer he couldn’t refuse was to put the property in the hands of old acquaintances who are former Papa John’s franchisees. The plan is to convert the North Monroe location into a fast-casual chicken restaurant of Huey Magoo’s Chicken Tenders.

More about Huey Magoo’s: Huey Magoo’s is joining the Tallahassee chicken craze with a possible location on North Monroe Street

“I got out because the operators that are going to open are what I call ‘pure operators,’” he said. “They know what they are doing and they are good people.”

Calling the transition “seamless,” Poole said the new operators received a construction permit Friday, adding that he has been all over Tallahassee to secure new jobs for soon-to-be former employees he calls family.

In that sense, Poole said he is grateful for the past decades, calling the establishment his “baby.”

But he devoted much of his life to it and missed no more than four days of service in all that time. But the one thing money couldn’t buy was his time, he explained.

“1 Vers was and is my passion,” he said, adding that he introduced several bowls and ingredients that people had not seen 23 years ago but are now common.

Poole is looking forward to spending Father’s Day with his now grown children, and not having to worry about getting up early to open Monday.

“I do what I did, I love it, I don’t regret it. I had so much fun. But more importantly, it was always about the people,” Poole said.

Kyla A Sanford provides dinners and entertainment for the Tallahassee Democrat. She can be reached at [email protected]. A new restaurant opening, special offers or events coming up? Let me know!