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Spicer's Bello Cucina closed

Bello Cucina, the Italian restaurant opened in Spicer in 2014, has closed its doors for good. Shelby Lindrud / Tribune

WILLMAR — The last plate of pasta has been served at the Bello Cucina location in Spicer. The restaurant, opened in 2014 by Jason Mueller, has closed.

"The Spicer location, even with its good reviews and high marks, has not been able to generate enough revenue to continue operations," Mueller said in an email to the Tribune.

The closing was planned, Mueller said, adding that staff shortages and increasing wages have made it difficult to keep the restaurants open. Spicer, being a resort town with a high influx of people in the summer but significantly lower numbers in the off-season, experienced these issues, Mueller said.

Mueller, who once operated six Bello Cucina restaurants, has already closed the Fergus Falls, Morris and Alexandria locations in recent months.

"I have experienced restaurant closings due in part by the forced inflation with added staff shortages. It makes it incredibly difficult to maintain a consistent standard of service in some communities," Mueller said.

The Bello Cucina building in Spicer was put up for sale or lease in April and is still listed.

The two remaining Bello Cucina restaurants are located in St. Joseph and Marshall.

"A sincere thank you to the valued and loyal patrons," Mueller said.