The restaurant cited the ongoing pandemic and increased crime in the neighborhood as reasons for the temporary closure, in an announcement on Facebook Wednesday.
Though it’s remained at the same location for a generation, Billy’s on Grand had already gone through a number of changes this year when COVID-19 shook the restaurant industry. It was sold in January to RJMP Group Inc., which brought in the chef Jeremy Bechtold, formerly of the Happy Gnome. The furnishings and patio were slated to get an update, and so was the menu.
“But of course, we all know what happened when March came along,” reads the post. “COVID has paralyzed our industry in ways that we could not expect. On top of a worldwide pandemic, we’ve dealt with unique challenges in our neighborhood late at night, and despite our vigilant efforts to seek help from the city, we were denied additional support which cost us dearly.”
A late-night argument led to a fatal shooting in September outside the restaurant, at 857 Grand Av., St. Paul.
“In an effort to protect the business, recover as much as possible, and to try to create longevity for the classic Grand Ave institution that is Billy’s, we’ve made the difficult decision to close Billy’s for the winter,” said the post.
Billy’s on Grand is closing for the season on Oct. 31.
The post didn’t offer a date when the restaurant would reopen.
Earlier this year, upon the sale, RJMP Group CEO Randy Johnson said, “We have an opportunity with our new team to bring in new ideas, a new menu and to refresh the interior and the iconic outdoor patio to ensure Billy’s will continue to operate on Grand Avenue and be a part of the great neighborhood for years to come.”