Yogi’s Kitchen and Tap, which opened on Tenth Street in 1992, closed indefinitely on July 22 after announcing the closure less than a month earlier.
The news of the closure came less than three months after Yogi’s management announced that the restaurant would look for a new location and the current property would be purchased by IU. The restaurant originally intended to find a new location by August 2018.
Now, with IU’s fall semester beginning, the restaurant's management has closed indefinitely and helped existing employees find new jobs, rather than hiring the new staff needed to operate during the school year.
“Today on staff I have 48 people,” general manager Paddy Cullen said at the time of the announcement. “I have 6 who are not 100 percent locked in somewhere new.”
Yogi’s would usually double their staff to operate during the school year, he said.
In the wake of the news that the restaurant would close, local Bloomington businesses reached out to help. Quaff On!, Upland Brewing Company and The Chocolate Moose were among the restaurants that within three hours of the announcement had contacted the Yogi’s staff to wish them well and offer to help those left unemployed find new jobs.
On plans to open a new location, Cullen said the future remains unclear.
“We still haven’t found a location that works both geographically and financially,” he said. “We’re going to wind it down. We’re going to take all of the actual Yogi’s assets and we’re planning on putting that in to storage. We’ll see what happens.”
One possibility is that potential new owners, who in the past have inquired about opening a second Yogi’s location, may eventually help in bringing the restaurant back, Cullen said. While management continues to consider the restaurant's future, however, he said that they must first consider their employees.
“It’s unsure,” he said. “These are people’s lives. You can’t live on unsure.”