MOORHEAD - Reese & Riley’s Olive Oil & Bistro Bar will be closing permanently at the end of this year.

The eatery, which opened two years ago in the Azool Retail Center on the city’s far south side, will close Dec. 30.

Owner Christine Conrad said the bistro at 935 37th Ave. S. is a victim of the many challenges and uncertainties small businesses have faced since the start of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

She is saddened by the closing.

"It's hard, because food is in my blood," Conrad said Tuesday, Nov. 24.

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Conrad announced her decision to close in a Facebook message posted Friday, Nov. 20.

“It is with deep sadness and regret that I have to announce the closing of Reese & Riley’s effective December 30, 2020. Given the current challenges and the new announcing of Governor Walz’s orders for state shutdowns as well as the current rise of Covid-19, timing isn’t great for future decisions and while we all would like to think this is just short term, it has been surprising at how long it has already lasted with no confirmed end in sight,” Conrad wrote.

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“It’s definitely a time that has made everyone, and especially small business owners like myself, re-evaluate how we do business and come up with creative ways to be successful. I have tried many different ideas in an effort to stay afloat and navigate through these difficult and unpredictable times to hopefully make it through, but I have been faced with the reality that things are not going back to 'normal' for a long time and that it’s not a fun world we are living in right now,” Conrad said.

“I have poured my sweat, love and tears into the food I have created, remarkable products I have sold and amazing customers I have been blessed to meet and help on their journey to a healthier, more flavorful lifestyle. Because of all of this I am truly grateful and will be closing my doors with a humbled gratitude for the community that has supported me through the years,” she wrote.

“We will continue to accept take-out orders and stock our coolers with grab-and-go meals, soups, desserts and infused beverages until December 30th as well as sell our olive oil and balsamic vinegar until our tanks are dry. We will be selling everything within the four walls of our space so if you love the decor/lighting/ fixtures as much as I have and would like a piece to enjoy in your own home please stop in and take a look. Also please be sure to stop in to redeem any unused gift cards and Savecoins before December 30th,” she wrote.

“And as for me, I do not know where the road will take me after this pandemic is finally over but I hope to one day rise again and continue to share my love of food, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with the world before me. It has been an honest pleasure to have met everyone I have on this journey and I leave with a full heart and could not be more thankful for those who have believed in me and invested their faith, time and money, learning and using our amazing, life-changing products. Thank you so much for all your support,” Conrad wrote.

Reese & Riley’s Olive Oil & Bistro Bar, 935 37th Ave. S., in the Azool Retail Center, will be closing permanently at the end of 2020, the owner said.
Reese & Riley’s Olive Oil & Bistro Bar, 935 37th Ave. S., in the Azool Retail Center, will be closing permanently at the end of 2020, the owner said.

Reese & Riley’s had opened Nov. 24, 2018, in a spot formerly occupied by a Spicy Pie pizzeria.

It was a reboot of a concept that Conrad had operated in south Fargo and Champlin, Minn.