Rooftop restaurant Fresco Madison announced Wednesday that although it is now open for the summer after a temporary closure, it plans to permanently close its doors in October due to financial uncertainty.
After a 15-year partnership with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, officials said it has faced serious economic hardship over the past year.
“As thrilled as we are with our discovery, it is with a heavy heart that we also announce that this will be our last summer at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.” officials wrote in an Instagram post…
Food Fight Restaurant Group CEO Caitlin Suemnicht says she is proud of the success Fresco has made over the years.
“I think it was important to have a restaurant in an art establishment. It was really great for us to serve both museum visitors and Overture guests, ”says Suemnicht. “We saw a truly amazing mix of customers, from people in shorts and flip flops just walking down State Street doing small purchases to people celebrating weddings and anniversaries.”
Zuemnicht, who previously worked at Fresco, is also looking forward to the coming summer.
“It’s sad and upsetting, but we’re really grateful that we have 2021 ahead of us – we have the rest of the summer,” she says.
Fresco Madison explained in her social media post that the construction and renovation plans were likely too risky to go through. The report said construction costs, furniture replacement, and increased rents and accommodation costs were one of the reasons why management decided not to sign a new lease for the site.
With COVID-19 restrictions, Fresco would have a limited capacity of 17 restaurant diners, Suamnicht said. In 2020, they offered a spot for a summer patio, but closed the restaurant in October when temperatures dropped.
“We decided it was better to close than open, but we still had to keep paying the rent because the museum was charging us a fee,” she says, given that MMoCA was also in a difficult position as a non-profit organization. “The PPP loans would have covered some of the rent if you had a salary, but we didn’t have it because we closed the cafeteria.”
“Our bank account shrank, we didn’t have a ton of money to invest in this space, and Fresco was showing its age,” she says.
Although Suemnicht says she doesn’t yet know how the museum will fill its space, she is optimistic about plans to open the restaurant in the summer.
“I think it would be very, very sad if we closed during 2020 last summer, and we couldn’t run at semi-normal performance, so it’s bittersweet that we are looking forward to this summer,” she says. … … “We hope people can celebrate and visit us in the next few months. I know that our chef, management and staff have really worked hard to put together a new menu that we really like. “
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