BEMIDJI -- Owners of The Cabin Coffeehouse and Café announced the closure of the downtown Bemidji business in a Facebook post on Saturday, Jan. 2. Later in the day, the owner of Heroes Rise Coffee Company announced they will take over the space with a second location called Third Street Station.
Brett and Derek Leach of Brothers Group Restaurants made the announcement with a statement and video on The Cabin’s Facebook page. They cited Minnesota COVID-19 restrictions for an insurmountable loss of revenue and asked supporters to urge elected officials to lift those restrictions.
The statement said the Brothers Group businesses have sustained a 56.5% loss in comparison to 2019, and 89% of its employees have been laid off during the pandemic.
“This year has brought immense loss to many, and our company Brothers Group Restaurants is no exception,” the statement reads. “In setting out to record a statement of closure, we recognized that many of you may not know the full extent of the impact of Minnesota's current restrictions. The Cabin is not the only restaurant to be affected. Over 100 restaurants throughout the state have already closed in 2020 and many more are at the brink of shuttering their doors forever.”
The Leach brothers also operate Bar 209, Red Stu Breakfast Bar and the Turtle River Chophouse.
Noemi Aylesworth, who owns The Cabin building with her husband, Harry, said she sympathizes with all restaurant owners as they face pandemic challenges.
“I am sorry and saddened The Cabin closed,” Noemi Aylesworth said. “My heart aches for all the restaurant owners throughout Minnesota. Unless a person has been a business owner they have no idea how hard it is to make payroll and be responsible for employees. The struggle is even more real now with the government closure.”
Members of the VanGrinsven family appeared on Facebook Live later Saturday evening to announce their intention to open the Third Street Station, a second Bemidji location for their Heroes Rise Coffee Company. The first location opened earlier this year at Bemidji Avenue and 15th Street. The company also is opening a shop in Crookston.
Heroes Rise is owned by Jeff VanGrinsven, his wife, Joan, their son, Matt and daughter-in-law Charly. The business started as a mobile operation last year.
The owners said Third Street Station will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, with Carissa Angelocci heading up the kitchen. She has been the manager of the first Bemidji location near the Bemidji State University campus.
Here is The Cabin’s complete statement from Facebook:
“This year has brought immense loss to many, and our company Brothers Group Restaurants is no exception. We are announcing today the closure of The Cabin Coffeehouse and Café.
“In setting out to record a statement of closure, we recognized that many of you may not know the full extent of the impact of Minnesota's current restrictions. The Cabin is not the only restaurant to be affected. Over 100 restaurants throughout the state have already closed in 2020 and many more are at the brink of shuttering their doors forever.
“To date, our businesses in total have taken a 56.5% loss in comparison to 2019 with 89% of our staff being laid off.
“Minnesota restaurants have been required to close indoor dining 7 times total, each time with misleading re-opening dates, for a total of 18 weeks and counting, resulting in enormous product and financial loss, as well as us and our staff continuously being left without reasonable planning time and, most of all, hope.
“We are thankful for all of our customers and recognize how crucial you are to the survival of our businesses and the hospitality industry as a whole. We plead with you to contact your representatives to make a change.
“Thank you for your patronage at The Cabin Coffeehouse and Café and for your continued support of our remaining restaurants through this season.”