Il Foro, the stunning modern Italian restaurant in the famed space formerly home to the likes of Goodfellow's and Forum Cafeteria, joined a growing list of Italian eateries shuttering lately. Saturday marked the last service for Chef Joe Rolle’s kitchen, just a week after Scena closed in Uptown and barely six months since Parella suddenly shuttered.
In its brief eleven month tenure the restaurant, owned by Kevin Fitzgerald and Josh Thoma of Smack Shack and Jack Riebel won positive reviews for its pasta, beautifully seasoned roast meats and a burger chef Rolle could handily hang his reputation on. Dara Moskowitz Grumdal of Mpls/St. Paul Magazine called it "nothing but terrific" and "the best Downtown Minneapolis lunch burger" when the restaurant first opened and Rick Nelson from the Star Tribune dubbed it "extraordinary" in his review.
The Il Foro burger. Photo by Jen Lueck
Many elements could be at play here: the downtown location burdened with constant construction, the decline in fine dining’s popularity or the influx of Italian spots in the Twin Cities in recent years. Maybe the space really is cursed, as some have claimed. Either way, the team behind Il Foro isn’t talking as of yet. A statement simply and bleakly states, "As of Sunday, May 22nd, Il Foro is closed. All employees will be given the opportunity to be placed in positions with other restaurants. The owners will have no further comment."