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Why Are So Many Minneapolis Restaurants Failing?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Another downtown Minneapolis restaurant shut down over the weekend.

Even though the highly-acclaimed Il Foro seemed to have a winning combination between the owners, cuisine and chef, they closed their doors for good Sunday.

WCCO's Molly Rosenblatt looks into what this trend says about the state of the local restaurant industry.

It's becoming a downtown Minneapolis trend.  Vincent A. Restaurant, Masa, Parella, La Belle Vie, all closed for good. WCCO's Food scene expert Jason DeRusha, explains that the restaurant industry is hard and there are always a number of factors that go into whether or not one will succeed.

"Last year was supposed to be the year where the high-end Italian restaurant took over the Twin Cities.  Now three out of the four that opened are now closed," DeRusha said.

So with the most recent and sudden closure of Il Foro, owned by successful restaurateurs with a talented and well known chef, what went wrong?

"I think we have too many restaurants. There are so many restaurants that keep opening up, every year there's a record number of restaurants that are opening in the Twin Cities. There are not that many more diners," DeRusha said.

Not enough diners, and the ones who are aren't eating out more often. DeRusha says that basically, the market is over-saturated.  But that doesn't mean the outlook for the local restaurant industry is bleak.

At Monello in Hotel Ivy business is great. Owner Brent Frederick explains what's working for them.

"You have the convention center, you have food and beverage for the hotel and then you also have outside business and Jester as a company, we like to think that we have a fairly strong name and we can attract those people in," Frederick said.

Frederick says that along with that, Chef Mike DeCamp makes for a winning combination. But both admit there is no secret formula to success.

"Who's to say that if we were in a different location that we would be succeeding, or if another restaurant was still in our location that they'd still be open? It's really is hard to say. I don't think there is X-plus Y equals Z formula to say this restaurant is going to work. No problem," Frederick said.

Il Foro opened last June. The owners gave no explanation as to why they shut down.

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