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Darn Good Soup closed for foreseeable future, may reopen at new location


Darn Good Soup is an eatery where local soup-lovers can find different styles of soup. The restaurant announced it is closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic Tuesday on Facebook. IDS file photo and Alex Deryn

This story was updated at 9:15 p.m. April 21. 

Darn Good Soup announced it’s closing its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic in a Tuesday Facebook post. The business has been serving the Bloomington community since March 2011.

“I have made many friends and had longtime employees while running the shop,” owner Nels Boerner said. “Being a participant in the community and sharing love and friendship has been wonderful.”

Economic uncertainty played a large part in the closure of the shop, especially with summer approaching, he said. He said summer wouldn't be a good time to reopen because it's often the slowest time for business. The shop had already been closed since March 21.

The last week the shop was open, revenue dropped by 70% compared to previous years, Boerner said. He said he could not guarantee his employees would be safe or that the shop would be profitable offering only carryout. 

Boerner also said the lease for its location on College Avenue was supposed to be resigned this month, but he didn't want to at this uncertain time. 

Before the closure, Darn Good Soup started a GoFundMe for employees. The fund had raised more than $5,000 as of Tuesday.

Jordyn Carmichael, a longtime customer and former employee, said Darn Good Soup is like its own little community. She said all of the soups are made with dedication and love, and customer service is important to employees.

“I learned so many things about being an employee and a person while working at Darn Good Soup,” Carmichael said. “Everyone there is a great person, and I can sincerely say that job shaped me as a person.”

Boerner said he hopes and plans to reopen the shop in a new location but has no plans for when that may happen. In the meantime, Boerner said he may write a soup cookbook with recipes from the shop.

There have been many rewards and hardships in owning the shop, Boerner said. Some of the best rewards have been making new friends and participating in the community, he said.

“It has been a pleasure and honor feeding and serving people in the community over the years,” Boerner said.

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