NEW INFORMATION: City discusses business climate in light of Eau Claire restaurant closure

By: Megan Lowry
By: Megan Lowry
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) After serving the Eau Claire area for more than three decades, Mike's Smokehouse posted a sign on its door yesterday saying it was closed and thanking customers for their business.

Mike’s Smokehouse owner Jeff Anderson says in the past few years business hasn't been steady enough to make up for the cost of operations and food.

"Business has just dropped in customers. In the last year and half, it’s gone the wrong way. I don't know if it’s being on the west side and everyone is going to the south side," said Anderson.

Eau Claire Economic Development Director Mike Schatz says the Eau Claire area has a very strong economy but there are multiple factors that can lead to a business or restaurant closing its doors.

“It’s like all businesses. There's a life cycle where you have births and deaths of businesses. It's a very competitive industry, and it’s always a shame to lose a local one," said Eau Claire Economic Development Director Mike Schatz. He added “I think when a restaurant closes it could for many different factors. It could be the management, the service, a change in finances. It could be the amount of competition; it could be the economy, so there is no real one area that you can pinpoint for closings.”

Mike’s Smokehouse opened in 1978. Anderson took over ownership in 2009. The restaurant put a sign on their door saying it was closed and thanks for business on Monday. It had to lay off 33 employees.

Other restaurants that have recently closed in the area are Bella's Ristorante and Whiskey's Bar and Grill in Altoona.

Schatz says for all the closing restaurants though there is several more flourishing which is good for our economy.

A popular Eau Claire restaurant is shutting its doors.

Monday Mike's Smokehouse had a sign on its door saying: "Closed. Thank you for your business."

The restaurant has been serving Texas style barbecue on Clairemont Avenue since 1978.

Our calls for comment were not returned.

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