Mi Casa Su Casa, the colorful Filipino-Mexican establishment in St. Paul’s Little Mekong district, is shutting down after Saturday’s service.
“It is with great regret and sorrow in our hearts that we are closing our doors. Saturday will be our last and only day open this weekend,” a post on the restaurant’s Facebook states.
“We have decided to pull back and restructure our business,” the post continues. “We have learned a lot in the past months as business owners as to what works and what doesn’t. We are not completely phasing out. We are still going to be active in the food industry and the community.”
Husband-wife co-owners Juvelyn and Saul Mellado have received an outpouring of online support from Twin Cities patrons, including local restaurateurs.
“We’re deeply sorry to hear this news guys. This is an absolutely wicked industry we’re in. Whatever y’all may need, please don’t hesitate,” commented Sherwin Resurrección, who would know, as one of three owners of another newish Filipino joint, Apoy.
Running a restaurant is tough business indeed: The Mellados only opened Mi Casa Su Casa in the former Silhouette Bakery & Bistro space late last June. “The tabletops, the bar tops—that’s all our hard work, and we want to be able to say, ‘Hey we built this, we built that," Juvelyn told CP last year. "It’s probably not your typical business."
But plagued by slow traffic at certain hours and major parking woes, the family operation had to make the difficult decision to close down.
“There wasn’t enough foot traffic for us to keep afloat. The area dies down really early during the winter months and between lunch and dinner,” Juvelyn told the Pioneer Press earlier this week.
Hopefully, this won’t be the last we’ll hear from the creative duo. The couple is determined to find a way to keep doing what they do best: serving up playful, fusion-forward cuisine to bring diverse communities closer.
“We have to go back to the drawing board and figure out a new plan because we do love cooking. [A] food truck is something we are considering but for now we have to regroup and get back on our feet,” she said.
“We are planning on doing pop-ups [that] will be announced on our Facebook page so our customers will be informed.”
In the meantime, their Facebook has one more request before the final service: “Please come and see us if you can on Saturday, not to say goodbye but ‘We’ll see you later!’”