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Mike’s Cafe closed until ‘further notice’

Declining sales a struggle for Marshall restaurant

MARSHALL — Ross Taveirne had hoped it wouldn’t come down to closing the doors at Mike’s Cafe. But between the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on restaurants in Minnesota, sales this spring had been a fraction of what they normally were.

“In April and May we were down about 80-85% in sales compared to last year, which is unfortunate because May is typically one of our best months of the year,” said Taveirne, owner of Mike’s. “Closing wasn’t an easy decision, but we weren’t generating the revenue needed to justify staying open.”

So on Sunday, a message went out on the Mike’s Cafe Facebook page — the restaurant would be closed until further notice. On Monday, the cafe parking lot sat empty. Signs announcing the closure hung on the doors, as well as in a few different windows.

Taveirne said this week that the business would be taking things day by day and hoping the closure won’t be permanent. For now, however, he doesn’t know when Mike’s will open back up.

Taveirne said the main reason for closing down was the significant decline in sales this spring. When COVID-19 restrictions on Minnesota restaurants were partially lifted in June, he said, “We hoped to see enough improvement to stay open. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The funding we received helped us to stay open this long.”

Restrictions on indoor seating at restaurants were one factor facing Mike’s, but Taveirne said the impact of COVID-19 has been different for every restaurant.

“I don’t feel there is a one size fits all solution for this industry,” he said. “Every place of business has to evaluate its own circumstances.”

The closure of Mike’s had some speculation going on in the community. On Tuesday, an update posted to the cafe’s Facebook page clarified that Mike’s hadn’t closed down because of a positive case of COVID-19.

“At this time we have not been made aware of any employee, or customer who has visited our establishment, with COVID-19. The closure was based on declining sales due to the pandemic,” the update said.

Through it all, Taveirne said he was grateful for the community support Mike’s has received.

“I do want to thank the community of Marshall. This is a very unfortunate situation but the overwhelming amount of support I’ve received goes to show how amazing the community of Marshall is,” he said.

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