Bonfire Restaurants announced Friday that it will permanently close all five of its Minnesota locations because of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said in a statement that its locations in Blaine, Eagan, Mankato, Savage, and Woodbury will not be reopening.
“As you know, the future of hospitality is incredibly uncertain and over the past month, we have tried our best to navigate this uncharted territory. We have explored multiple paths to emerge triumphant at the end of this pandemic, but there’s just no way for us to support the financial weight of our company and the building we call home. We were already walking a fine line before COVID-19 and given that no one knows how long the impacts of this pandemic will last, or what the new normal will be, we do not see a viable path forward,” said the statement.
The company said unused gift cards can be used at Axel’s, a sister chain of restaurants that will reopen.
“We cannot express the amount of sadness that fills our hearts, but we are also overcome with the sincerest gratitude,” the statement continued. “It has been our privilege to be in your company and we believe in your ability to overcome these unprecedented challenges.”
Several other Twin Cities restaurants have announced permanent closures in recent weeks, including the Egg and I, Sleepy V’s doughnut shop, El Burrito Mercado’s Minneapolis location, NE Arcade, Anelace Coffee, Bar Luchador, Muddy Waters, 4 Bells, Bachelor Farmer, Izzy’s Ice Cream’s St. Paul location, Pazzaluna, Cleveland Wok, Wabasha Street Caves, A Cupcake Social, and Vivo Kitchen.
Under Gov. Tim Walz’s “Stay Safe Minnesota” executive order, bars and restaurants aren’t allowed to reopen for dine-in service until June 1.
A recent report from Hospitality Minnesota predicted that more than half of businesses in the hospitality industry could close if the shutdown doesn’t end soon. A similar survey from the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild warned that up to 80 percent of the state’s craft breweries could be closed in six months.
The owner of a chain of bars and restaurants in rural Minnesota attempted to reopen early, but was sued by Attorney General Keith Ellison and threatened with up to $150,000 in fines.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking” by Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking.