Popular Italian fine dining restaurant Bello Cucina closes abruptly in Alexandria, Minn.

Body: 

 

As of Friday, Dec.1, Alexandria's Bello Cucina location has permanently closed its doors.

 

A post on the restaurant's Facebook page read, "Due to lack of qualified staffing, the Alexandria location will no longer be open." The restaurant's front door had a sign reading the same.

 

Before closing, Bello Cucina had been for sale since October, after owner Jason Mueller's heart attack.

 

The Fergus Falls and Morris locations are currently for sale, while the Marshall, Spicer and St. Joseph locations are not.

 

Mueller could not be reached for comment.

History of 319 Broadway

 

The closing means the large and distinctive property at 319 Broadway will again be idle.

 

It was built as a private residence in the 1860s and also has operated as a funeral home. The building was vacant and in need of repairs when it was converted to The Bronc's On Broadway restaurant in 1986. In 1993, the eating establishment was sold and the newly named Old Broadway took its place.

 

Jill Blashack Strahan and Joani Nielson of Tastefully Simple purchased the property in 2004.

 

After Old Broadway closed in 2007, the building stood vacant for more than four years before reopening as MainStreet Brewery in 2011.

 

MainStreet Brewery closed in October 2011 and the building was again vacant until Mueller purchased the property and opened Bello Cucina in May 2016.

 

According to property records, the space has an estimated market value of $586,900.