'I'm sorry, I feel terrible'; downtown eatery Bertrosa's to closeFARGO – Bertrosa’s, a fixture in the lower level of the Black Building in downtown Fargo for many years, is closing.
By: Dave Olson, INFORUM
FARGO – Bertrosa’s, a fixture in the lower level of the Black Building in downtown Fargo for many years, is closing.
“It was just a long winter,” owner Derek Radke said Thursday, explaining his decision to shut down the restaurant at the close of business Friday.
Radke said the move was based on several things, including a heating problem in the Black Building that kept the restaurant at around 60 degrees for a good part of the winter, and increased competition from new eateries downtown.
All of which, Radke said, “just took the wind out of our sails.”
Radke announced the closing via a posting on Bertrosa’s Facebook page.
“We’ve gone broke,” the posting read. “I’m sorry, I feel terrible.”
Word about the imminent closing got around and by noon Thursday the restaurant was swamped.
First, they ran out of the daily special.
Then, they ran out of everything else.
Radke said they would restock and have food on hand for Friday.
For Radke, the purchase of the business two years ago was the culmination of a dream.
“From the first time I started working down here, I said: ‘I’m going to own this place someday.’ And here we are.
“I love this place,” Radke added. “I want nothing more than to keep doing this. But I can’t do it anymore.”
The owners of the Black Building have been at odds with city officials over a number of issues, including elevators and the building’s heating system.
A Fargo city prosecutor said he was considering issuing an arrest warrant in connection with a new boiler system in the 84-year-old building and the question of whether it was installed properly.
The building’s owners have called the situation a misunderstanding and maintain they have always done what the city has asked regarding issues with the structure.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555