This is not a throwback Thursday article.
While the actual Baja Sol restaurant in Inver Grove Heights closed in 2011, the Inver Grove Heights-based restaurant group that owned Baja Sol closed all seven remaining Twin Cities locations, without notice, Thursday, according to reports by both the Star Tribune and Twin Cities Business Journal.
The Star Tribune article Baja Sol restaurant closes without notice, said “Baja Sol Tortilla Grill, with seven locations in the Twin Cities, appears to be the latest casualty in a swath of fast casual restaurant closings. None of the locations’ phones were answered on Thursday, and doors were locked.”
Meanwhile, the Business Journal reported that Baja Sol Tortilla Grill quietly closes its restaurants in Minneapolis, downtown St. Paul, Eden Prairie, Edina, Northeast Minneapolis, Roseville and St. Louis Park.
The Star Tribune also added this info: “The Inver Grove Heights-based restaurant company was purchased in 2006 by an investment group including the late Bill Cooper, who retired as TCF Bank CEO; Tony Sutton, former state Republican Party chair; and Sutton’s former wife, Bridget. The company, like many restaurants, began a downhill spiral brought on by the recession. The Suttons filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010, owing more than $2.1 million.”
Baja Sol was a good concept and the food was decent. But competition in the fast casual industry is tough, especially for Mexican/tex-mex restaurants. The Star Tribune also reported that more than 1,000 fast casual restaurant locations have closed since 2016, including Applebee’s, Joe’s Crab Shack, Old Country Buffet, Noodles & Co., Subway, Outback and Ruby Tuesday.
Interesting enough, Applebee’s, Subway, Outback and Ruby Tuesday all remain open in Inver Grove Heights. How’s that for confusing?
The restaurant world is constantly changing, and this is another example of how you just never know what restaurant will make it, and what restaurant won’t. We can now add Baja Sol to the didn’t make it list.