Local restaurant closes, inconveniences student workers

Sara Naatz, Managing Editor

At 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 3, Blue Moose restaurant managers called senior Anna Kebe and the rest of her co-workers in for a morning meeting.

They provided breakfast for the employees and checked to make sure everyone was in attendance.

Kebe had just gotten a job at the restaurant. She was still in training.

The employees all gathered around as the managers prepared to make an announcement.

“We’re closing.”

Everyone looked around in disbelief.

“I didn’t believe them at first because I had just started there,” Kebe said. “Everyone was just kind of quiet. They kind of just have to take it and figure out what to do.”

Kebe said though rumors had been going around, none had been confirmed.

“It was definitely out of the blue,” she said. “A couple people had heard, but no one was really sure. We were busy almost every night on weekends.”

Employees began cleaning things out immediately after the meeting. As Kebe drove by the building later that day, she saw men removing the letters from the walls.

“This other kid that was training with me missed the meeting, and he literally was calling asking ‘Where is Blue Moose?’ because it was gone that same day,” she said.

Blue Moose employee junior Sloane Sandmoen said Blue Moose shut down mostly because of its small size and inability to bring in sufficient revenue.

“It was in a really bad location, and it was pretty small,” Sandmoen said. “We didn’t make enough money because we just couldn’t fill it up.”

Managers relocated many of the employees to Los Cabos, a Mexican restaurant in Mission Hills.

“A lot of the waitresses live on tips and by the paycheck, so it was good that we got started [at Los Cabos] in the next day or two,” Kebe said. “They’ve been really flexible with getting us started again because some people have worked at Blue Moose for years.”

Kebe said many of the former Blue Moose employees are upset about the longer drive to get to Los Cabos, located on 119th Street and Mission Road.

“For me, now, it’s almost a 20-minute drive,” she said. “There a few high school girls that said they don’t get paid enough to afford this gas. One girl went to the Blue Moose on 135th and she doesn’t like it at all. It was like a 30 minute drive for her, and it’s just not worth it.”