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

The Bello Cucina location in Alexandria has closed as of Friday, Dec. 1. (File photo)

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.

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

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