About 40 people lost their jobs unexpectedly on New Year's Day when Rochester's Green Mill Restaurant closed after eight years of cooking on the northwest side.
The staff reportedly was not given any notice of the closing until company executives showed up on Thursday. They posted letters on the restaurant's doors stating,"It saddens us to inform you that the Rochester Green Mill will be closing its doors January 1."
Calls to Paul Dzubnar, CEO of the St. Paul-based Green Mill, were not returned this morning.
Dzubnar personally owned the Rochester franchise under the corporate name of G M P Rochester LLC. Citing long interest from Rochester diners to have a Green Mill of their own, he built the 6,800-square-foot restaurant at 2723 Commerce Dr. N.W. in 2006.
"It finally came together," said Dzubner, who was then a vice president of Green Mill.
The Rochester location seated 240 people and employed more than 100 staffers when it opened. It was built in a commercial development that was spearheaded by Merl and Dan Groteboer.
After the closing, Green Mill now has 27 locations in the Minnesota and Wisconsin region. The closest to Rochester is in Winona.
In 2011, Dzubnar launched a second line of restaurants called Crooked Pint Ale House. There now are locations in Apple Valley and Minneapolis. Twin Cities media has reported that deals to open more Crooked Pints in and outside of Minnesota are in the works.