Mitchell restaurant blames lack of employees for closureCity now without an Italian option.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Mitchell’s only Italian-themed restaurant, which opened at the start of 2012, has closed.
Napoli’s Italian Restaurant, which was at 1522 W. Havens Ave., closed last month. The management said a lack of employees, not customers, was the primary reason for the closure.
Napoli’s opened in January and replaced a Mexican restaurant, La Cascada, which had recently closed. Prior to that, the building had housed a Country Kitchen. Napoli’s served “ethnic Italian” food, and online reviews and comments on its Facebook page, which is still up, appeared to be positive.
The first Napoli’s opened in Texas about 20 years ago, and there are restaurants in Huron and Yankton, as well as in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
Matt Grice, who manages the Napoli’s Italian Restaurant in Huron and used to manage the Mitchell restaurant, said he simply could not find enough people who wanted jobs.
“We couldn’t get enough people to work there,” Grice said. He said at one point, no one even applied for a job for several months.
“Wish we could have kept open,” Grice said. “The business we did have was very complimentary, very positive.”
Grice said just because the restaurant closed doesn’t mean another Napoli’s won’t open in Mitchell at a different location.
“Never say never,” Grice said.
Bryan Hisel, executive director of the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce and Mitchell Area Development Corp., said the job market in Mitchell is competitive, which likely had something to do with the reported lack of applicants at Napoli’s. Efforts to grow Mitchell’s workforce have been ongoing for years.
“Businesses have to work hard to find employees, make sure they get the word out, and pay and benefits will determine if people want the job,” Hisel said.
Boyd Reimnitz, who owns the building, said he was also told the lack of employees led to the closure. Reimnitz said he was at first told the restaurant was shutting down because the company needed to transfer employees to the Yankton and Huron locations, but the owner planned to reopen it.
Then, a few weeks ago, he was told it would not reopen.
Reimnitz said he wants to see someone else occupy the building.
“We would like someone who is going to be here a long time,” he said. “Or we’d prefer to sell the building.”