Another downtown restaurant and bar is closing its doors due to the pandemic and construction, but with the intention of reopening when business is more viable.
The owners of Cameo at the Castle at 121 N. Broadway Ave. announced that the last day of service in the restaurant will be Saturday.
"We’re going to focus on how we succeed long term. Unfortunately, that means closing in the short term," said co-owner Chef Zach Ohly. "We need to make some hard decisions in the short term, so we are able to come back post-construction season and hopefully when the Covid-19 pandemic is better. Then we will get back to what we do well."
Cameo's announcement comes in the wake of the closure of downtown businesses, The Loop restaurant and the Primp closing store. Both of those businesses cited the effects of extensive construction this summer that has made downtown very difficult to navigate, and kept Mayo Clinic employees and patients away. Then, of course, there's a pandemic.
Ohly said it wasn't one thing that drove them to close. All of it has "thrown a big wrench" into trying to operate a restaurant in downtown Rochester. Closing for now with an eye to future is their way to "stay positive," he said.
On Wednesday, they posted the announcement on the restaurant's Facebook page:
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the temporary closure of the restaurant for dine-in services and take out. COVID-19, coupled with ongoing construction all around the restaurant have made it impossible to be economically viable. This closure is necessary to ensure we still have a business to operate when construction season and impacts from COVID-19 have subsided.”
This weekend will also be the last two days of Cameo by the Riverside on the Mayo Civic Center plaza.
Cameo will still operate in a limited fashion at off site events, like ones with the Thesis Beer Project and Little Thistle Brewing in August. It will also offer private chef dinners and meal kits for guests.
The post also stated:
“We look towards the future and hope to be able to open our doors again as soon as possible. The amount of closures happening in Rochester and downtown specifically has been so hard on a lot of people. Small businesses need the support now more than ever. Grab a coffee from a local coffee shop, eat lunch or dinner at a local restaurant, buy artwork from local artists and support those that need it.”
Ohly and his wife, Danika Ohly, opened the upscale casual, 160-seat restaurant and bar in the 5,000-square-foot basement of The Castle in 2018.
Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter to @whereskiger. You can call him at 507-285-7798.