The latest Twin Cities restaurant to close due to COVID-19 is part of one of Minnesota’s prestige hospitality groups. On Thursday, Gavin Kaysen sent out a note announcing the immediate closure of Bellecour in Wayzata.
“We have come to the painful decision to close Bellecour effective immediately,” he writes. “The loss of this restaurant fills me with sadness and frustration, but I remain humbled by the overwhelming support from my management team and guests.”
After opening in 2017, the restaurant and bakery quickly became a favorite of diners and critics alike. “This is a French bistro: It’s supposed to offer delicious food of the sort you could enjoy several times a week—that is if you could get into this in-demand restaurant a couple times a week right now,” wrote Jason DeRusha in his Minnesota Monthly review. Last year, Bellecour was the cover star of our best brunch spots issue, and the work of pastry chef Diane Moua was a given for our top desserts roundup earlier this year.
Soigné has been active since the pandemic began, launching a new initiative to assist workers called Heart of the House Foundation.
Earlier this week, Bellecour had just opened a pop-up location at Cooks of Crocus Hill in the North Loop, not far from the other Soigné Hospitality restaurants, Spoon + Stable and Demi. On Tuesday, the restaurant announced it would close for a deep cleaning following a worker testing positive for COVID-19.
Here is Kaysen’s letter in full:
A little over three years ago when we opened Bellecour in the community of Wayzata, I realized a dream. I had envisioned having a French bistro and bakery since I first began cooking. The intention from the beginning was always the same, to provide delicious food and warm hospitality in a setting that would transport you to France. We’ve done that with the buttery croissants made by Chef Diane and her team, with the escargot by Chef Laurence, and with the welcoming service from our entire staff. This has never been just a restaurant to me, it has been part of my life’s work, and something I have spent over 20 years working for and towards.
As you know, the future of the hospitality profession has been rocked and will continue to be rocked by the pandemic. We have worked incredibly hard to create joy for the community and our team. In addition, over the last four months, we have done everything we can to pivot, adapt and change models in an effort to support the community, provide meaningful work for our team, and have a space to welcome you back to once again. As the days and weeks have gone by, we have realized that in a location that is so dependent on seasonal success we are losing more than we can sustain. When the pandemic came, it was just as we were gearing up for the season, and our ability to bounce back has been extremely limited.
As a result, we have come to the painful decision to close Bellecour effective immediately. The loss of this restaurant fills me with sadness and frustration, but I remain humbled by the overwhelming support from my management team and guests.
We are continuing to work hard to turn this moment into a positive and focus all of our efforts on Spoon and Stable, Demi and the Bellecour Bakery Pop Up located at Cooks of Crocus Hill in the North Loop. I want to thank each of you for your outpouring of support and for joining us at Bellecour to create lasting memories. It has been an absolute privilege to cook for you and to serve you in this space.