Sara and Brian Pollmann, owners of Zellas restaurant in Hutchinson, announced Tuesday that they are closing the downtown establishment “indefinitely.” The official last day is July 18.
The Pollmanns bought Zellas in 2016 from Tiffany and Blake Barnard, who founded the restaurant in 2008. While they had planned to work through complications caused by the Main Street reconstruction project, COVID-19 and the difficulties it created were too much for the restaurant to bear.
“Over the last few months, we have redesigned our business model, laid off and rehired staff, and worked diligently with our bank, but as we look ahead at the restrictions and fear of illness, we can come to no other conclusion,” a statement from the Pollmanns said.
The loss of the restaurant is a difficult one for the owners, not only for the business but the memories as well. Sara Pullman recalled having her son’s baptism at the restaurant.
“So many celebrations there with friends and family, so it’s been a special place for us before and when we owned it,” she said.
Although restrictions have come at the cost of their business, the Pollmanns also made a point of expressing their support of Gov. Tim Walz’s decisions during the pandemic, saying “he has made them to save and protect lives.”
“No matter our heartbreak, the lives and health of our fellow citizens are more important,” the statement said.
Looking ahead to the restaurant’s future, the Pollmanns said there are no plans to reopen in 2020, and after that it is unlikely. They are also pursuing selling the business.