Il Gatto, a restaurant operating for barely two years at its highly trafficked locale in Minneapolis' Uptown area, has been closed because of economic difficulties.

The successor to Figlio at the corner of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue called it quits on Saturday because it was "unable to align the economics of operating the restaurant with the cost of occupying the premises," said a statement issued on Sunday by its owner, Parasole Restaurants.

"Il Gatto was a critically acclaimed, really great restaurant," said Parasole Vice President Kip Clayton. "We were very sorry to see it close."

The company said it will make "every effort" to place Il Gatto employees at other Parasole restaurants and bars in the Twin Cities.

Il Gatto gift cards will be honored at Parasole's other locales, the company said.

Clayton added that Parasole has had a "major presence in Uptown for 27 years" and "is experiencing strong sales at our other restaurants in the area, including the Uptown Cafeteria, Burger Jones and Chino Latino."

Il Gatto was opened in late November 2009, replacing Figlio at 3001 Hennepin Av. S. but retaining the location's famed wood-burning grill and late kitchen hours. Figlio's run lasted 25 years.