Citing pandemic struggles, Capitol View Cafe closes until further notice

Citing pandemic struggles, Capitol View Cafe is closing until further notice.

The Capitol View Cafe is a neighborhood staple, but due to ongoing struggles, it’s closed until further notice.

For decades, the café has been known for good coffee and great company. Some of the regulars even earned a spot on the wall.  

But, it’s those very people owner Kathy Bauer says she’s trying to protect. Since reopening in March, business had been booming. But, Monday night she got the call she had been dreading.

"My granddaughter, her boyfriend had tested positive. And I said, ‘How are you feeling’ and she said, ‘Not well,’" said Bauer.

Many of the employees are from the same family, so if one goes down with COVID-19, chances are they all will. Plus, the customers would be at risk. So, for now, the kitchen is closed.

"We did it to protect our customers and because we’re mainly family, I just thought it was a good time to close…it was very hard," Bauer said.

However, the decision to close wasn’t just about COVID; they also can’t find anyone to work outside of family. Last week, five interviews were scheduled and not one of them showed up.

"Before COVID we had a very solid staff. Some of them went to Wisconsin because they never closed. They want to come back, but they’re really leery that Minnesota is gonna close again," she said.

So, with zero back-up if people get sick, Bauer felt she was left with no choice.

It may be a few weeks or maybe a month, but the goal is to reopen. For now, the tables are set and ready for whenever that day comes.

The last three years have been a challenge. Capital View has had a major flood, then thieves made off with cash, and then the pandemic hit.

"We’re meant to be here," Bauer said. "I don’t know why we’re still here, but by the grace of God, we’re still here."