Handsome Hog, the flagship restaurant from “Top Chef” contestant Justin Sutherland, is taking a break.
The restaurant will serve its last takeout meals on Saturday.
Since indoor dining was halted for a four-week shutdown Nov. 20, running a takeout-only business has been a losing proposition for the Cathedral Hill restaurant, Sutherland said.
“We lost $11,000 last week,” he said. “Every night, I crunched the numbers in every way possible, and even taking into account Thanksgiving week, I couldn’t see a path forward.”
Without a relief package for restaurants from the federal or state government on the horizon, Sutherland said he can’t operate the restaurant without seated dining as an option. But the pause is only temporary. “We will reopen 100%,” Sutherland said.
As of now, dining is slated to resume Dec. 19, if the “dial-back” period for Minnesota is not extended.
“We’ll open the day they let us open inside,” Sutherland said. “We spent thousands of dollars for plastic dividers and room ionizers and we’ve been as safe as we can. I don’t question our ability to operate safely. The second they let us open inside, we’ll be back.”
“It is with a heavy heart I announce that this Saturday will be the last service at Handsome Hog (for now, we WILL be back) Due to the inaction by our state and federal government the numbers just don’t work, we tried. Please help us in our final week, our staff needs your support as they once again enter a time of uncertainty. Get your fix of brisket, ribs, and chicken and grab your gift cards. We will see you on the other side, but for now we must take a break......” he wrote on Facebook.
Handsome Hog (173 Western Av. N., St. Paul) moved to its current location from its original spot in Lowertown in June. It took over the larger space that had previously been occupied by Sutherland’s pizzeria the Fitz. It joins several restaurants that are going into “hibernation,” closing temporarily until conditions improve for dining out amid the pandemic.
Town Hall announced last week that two of its locations, Town Hall Tap (4810 Chicago Av., Mpls.) and Town Hall Lanes (5019 S. 34th Av., Mpls.), would close until sometime in 2021. (Town Hall Brewery and Town Hall Station remain open.)