It looks like El Loro has flown from Rochester as the Mexican eatery on Fourth Street Southeast has been dark for days.
El Loro, which translates to The Parrot, opened in the old Chicago Great Western train depot at 20 Fourth St. SE in 2012. It is owned by Marcos Gomez, who owns a number of other Mexican restaurants in Minnesota with his brother.
The restaurant now sits closed and has been that way for days. Details of the closure are unknown, as Gomez has been unavailable for comment at his other restaurants.
The El Loro website lists restaurants in Bloomington, Burnsville, Savage and Hutchinson. Rochester recently has been removed from the list.
El Loro's abrupt closure comes on the heels of the building's recent sale.
The 115-year-old depot building was purchased for $800,00 in November by a collection of local and out-of-state investors under the name of The Med City Restaurant Group.
Realtor Nick Pompeian of Realty Growth Inc., who handled the deal, said the new owners had no plans to change anything and hope to keep a restaurant operating in the building.
"They just saw this as a good opportunity to own a piece of downtown," he said at the end of December.
So whatever happens next, it seems likely that a restaurant eventually will fill t he depot again. However, it's unclear how soon something like that could happen.
Before El Loro, it housed another Mexican restaurant. In 2001, Jorge Ocegueda opened Dos Amigos in the depot. In 2011, he revamped the eatery and renamed it as Paseo del Rio. Paseo del Rio had a short run and soon was replaced by El Loro in 2012.
The depot originally was built in 1899 by Winona & Southwestern Railroad at the intersection of First Avenue and Second Street Southeast. Two years later, the line was sold to Chicago Great Western, which moved the building north across the river in 1903 by cutting it in two, placing each half on a flat rail car, and reassembling it at 19 Second St. SE.
In 1949, the structure was remodeled to also serve as a terminal for the Jefferson Bus Lines. The last passenger train left the depot in 1950, but Jefferson remained until 1987.
It then was sold to the city and slated for demolition until a "Save the Depot" citizens group temporarily moved it near the power plant at 533 First Ave. N.E. It was moved across the street a year later to allow Marigold Foods, now Kemps, to expand.
In 1997, Bruce Kreofsky & Sons acquired it at no cost from the City of Rochester. Kreofsky renovated it and moved it to the current location. Rochester Depot LLCof Plainview, which is connected to Kreofsky, acquired it at no cost in September 2010.