Cafe Miranda, a landmark Rockland restaurant that has served progressive, enjoyable meals for practically 30 years will shut on Saturday, June 25, “failing some miraculous flip of occasions,” in response to proprietor and founder Kerry Altiero.
The reason being the labor scarcity, he stated, and the precise miracle he’s looking for is to have two certified cooks land on his doorstep, able to get to work.
At this level, that doesn’t appear very more likely to occur, he stated.
“I believe it’s very unhappy that we’re closing,” Altiero, 66, stated. “What I believe is far sadder is the state our business is in. Some individuals are doing high quality. Different individuals are not doing high quality, if you happen to can’t discover the assistance to remain open and meet your mounted prices.”
Earlier than the pandemic, Cafe Miranda was open seven days per week, closing simply three days a yr, he stated. Proper now, he has sufficient employees to open solely three days per week: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. And despite the fact that the restaurant does nicely on these days, it’s simply not sufficient to pay the payments.
Altiero opened the restaurant when Rockland was a gritty city with a doubtful status. The approaching closure, he stated, is breaking his coronary heart — and likewise, he believes, is a grim warning for the state’s hospitality business as a complete.
Among the many endemic, hard-to-solve labor issues that plague the business, he stated, are the state’s growing older workforce, the housing disaster, the shortage of childcare for employees, pupil debt and lack of a sustainable profession path.
“I sound like a socialist. I’m not,” he stated. “It’s that our business and a number of different ones are in bother.”
Though he and different cooks of his technology helped put Maine on the culinary map, because of improvements like farm-to-table eating, the usage of inventive components and extra, they haven’t accomplished the whole lot.
“What we didn’t do is remedy the labor drawback,” he stated.
All of because of this the restaurant identified for its eclectic vibe and wide-ranging menu, the place patrons feast on the whole lot from handmade pasta to wood-fired pizza and Asian-inspired fare surrounded by pink flamingos and Elvis decor, is more likely to shut its doorways after two extra weekends.
Through the years, Altiero estimates that he’s employed “lots of and lots of” of individuals. Proper now, he has 12 to fifteen folks on his payroll.
“Shoutout to the crew that’s there now, and the crew that’s been there,” he stated. “This place has purchased so many individuals’s homes and raised so many children. That’s the legacy.”
The legacy of the restaurant means so much to him, he wrote in a Fb put up Tuesday afternoon that was shared greater than 160 occasions in simply two hours.
“What we’ve is a good crew, a terrific place, the very best prospects in the very best city, however what we don’t have is sufficient staff to be open greater than three days per week,” he stated. “The longer term is in course of. Keep tuned. Go to us over the subsequent two weeks. We wish to hear from you. We all know that Miranda means so much to this neighborhood. You could have meant the world to us.”