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Downtown restaurant closes

MONTE DRAPER BEMIDJI PIONEER The Depot on 1st in Bemidji has apparently closed. The business' Facebook page announced the immediate closure of the bar and grill, located at 128 First St. W, on Monday night.

BEMIDJI -- Just about three months after it opened, the Depot on 1st has apparently closed.

The business' Facebook page announced the immediate closure of the bar and grill, located at 128 First St. W, on Monday night.

"To all our fans it is with great sadness to be writing this post effective immediately 'The Depot On 1st' is Closed," the post states. "Thanks to all the employees who did such a great job. Thanks to our community and business that encouraged us along the way. Thank you, all our fans who have supported us without fail. We will hold our heads high because we provided great food, great customer service and great entertainment! This will be my last post."

A message left on the Depot's voicemail was not immediately returned.

The answering machine, reached Tuesday morning, sounded as if it was business as usual, advertising live music and stating the bar and grill's regular hours.

The Depot opened in early June after the Blue Ox Bar & Grill opted against renewing its three-year lease. The Blue Ox, owned by Michelle Soltis, leased its space from Denis Villella, who owns the building.

Villella announced in May that he and Dennis Coverston would together open the Depot on 1st, which was set to open June 6.

The building was occupied for nearly three decades by the Union Station restaurant until it closed in 2005. Villella's Bada Bing!, which was operated by Denis Villella's relative, opened in 2008 before the Blue Ox took over.

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