Tucci Benucch will close its Mall of America location on Feb. 4, ending a 25-year run and bragging rights as one the mall’s original eateries, managers confirmed Wednesday.
Also closing will be the restaurant’s adjacent Magic Pan Crepe Stand.
Employees were notified about the change three weeks ago, including two servers who have been at the classic Italian Tucci restaurant since the mall’s opening day in 1992. Several others have worked at Tucci for nearly two decades.
“There have been a lot of tears,” said Tucci manager Erin Weeks. “Everybody loves it here.”
She noted that 80 affected employees from Tucci and Magic Pan Crepe will be given the chance to transfer to other local restaurants owned by Tucci’s parent firm, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.
Lettuce Entertain You also operates the Twin City Grill at MOA; three Big Bowl restaurants at the Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka, the Galleria Edina and Rosedale Center in Roseville; 14 Big Bowl Chinese Express sites inside Lunds & Byerlys supermarkets; and “Tucci Italian” sites in Minnetonka and Edina, said spokeswoman Laura Nessel.
It is not yet known which tenant or tenants will fill the soon-to-be vacant sites that sit on the mall’s west side on the first floor.
“We are sad to see them go and thank all our guests who supported them throughout the years,” the Mall of America’s management said in a statement. “With change always comes opportunity and we look forward to exciting announcements for those spaces in 2018.”
About 40 of the more than 500 stores and restaurants at MOA opened when the mall did.