After 71 years in business, the Silver Slipper has closed its doors. An institution in state politics, the steak house was known for the privacy it afforded politicians and lobbyists who would eat, drink and scheme in curtained rooms.
Like most Tallahassee restaurants, the Slipper suffered financially after 2005, when lawmakers made it illegal for lobbyists to buy them anything. For years, it was legal for a lobbyist to pick up the tab for anything a lawmaker could eat and drink at a single sitting, but one scandal after another led lawmakers to impose stricter ethics laws. A move to loosen the restrictions failed this year in the Senate.
Kalfas said the restaurant weathered the gift ban, but it could not survive the added weight of the economy going south. “We’ve done all we can do,” an exhausted Kalfas said Sunday. “We survived the Depression, wars, even a fire, everything else.”
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