Vinnie's closes, other restaurants in the works
Vinnie's Family Restaurant closed its doors just six months after opening at Eagle Valley Marketplace, joining an "experimental" ice cream shop that owners had shut down earlier this year.
Restaurant owner Vinnie Mustafoski had vowed to bring home-cooked, family style meals to the space that replaced Tinucci's with room to seat almost 100 patrons.
But leasing agent Tammy Medina said the restaurant started to slow down in the summer months with many families taking vacations. Construction activity on Woodbury Drive didn't help matters either, she said.
"I think the slow months scared him," she said. "I think if he would've hung in there a few more weeks, he would've been just fine again."
Mustafoski could not be reached for comment last week.
Before opening in February, he told the Bulletin that he and his family have been running restaurants since the 1970s, starting in Chicago and working all over the nation ending in various cities of Wisconsin.
Medina said Vinnie's closure came as a surprise, while Yum Ice Cream was an experiment the owners of the strip mall were testing out.
The ice cream shop replaced a coffee shop run by Angelina's Kitchen before it became the new venture.
Owners of the building, a group of local investors running Eagle Valley Market Place, didn't see the results they were hoping for in Yum Ice Cream, Medina said.
"And they opened it at the end of the season, just before winter, which is the wrong time to open an ice cream shop," she said.
But Medina is hopeful that new tenants will soon open at both the former Vinnie's and Yum Ice Cream. In fact, she said a new restaurant will be announced in the next couple of months.
The Eagle Valley Marketplace, which includes Pet Evolution, DogSpaw, Angelina's Kitchen and a few small tenants, is near capacity with two units currently vacant.