Mac Grill last day = March 26
Here's more details on the Mac Grill closing. By the way, Brett Farve's retirement bumped this story off the front page. No one has e-mailed me about Farve today, but several have e-mailed or called about Mac Grill. Sigh.
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Romano’s Macaroni Grill is in its last days of serving up dishes like chicken scaloppineCQ in Rochester. It is slated to close later this month.
The 68 employees were told Saturday that the four-year-old restaurant is closing. It will close on March 26.
Dallas-based Brinker International, which also owns the Chili’s restaurant chain, owns the Macaroni Grill on the west side of Apache Mall.
“Based on a number of evaluative criteria, the difficult decision was made to close this location,” Maureen Locus, spokeswoman for Brinker, wrote in an e-mailed response to questions from the Post-Bulletin.
Brinker is in the process of selling off the Macaroni Grill brand, possibly this year or next. Company officials have cited declining revenues and a difficult casual dining market as reasons for the sale.
The company didn’t comment on how the closing of the popular Rochester restaurant might be connected to Brinker’s planned sale of the brand and chain. There are four other Macaroni Grills in the Twin Cities.
Some Macaroni Grills, like Rochester, corporate owned and others are owned by franchisees.
The Rochester restaurant opened in 2004 in a 7,300-square-foot building on the former site of Montgomery Ward’s automotive service area on the mall property. The mall built the Italian-styled space and leased it to the restaurant; Macaroni Grill’s departure opens a high-visibility spot for another restaurant or retailer.
The management of the Apache Mall did not return a call asking for comment Monday afternoon.
Brinker is offering the Rochester staff a severance package, said Assistant Manager Melanie Kelso.