Mason City, IA (KIMT-TV) – A popular local restaurant is closed for good. The owners of The Other Place, more commonly known as the OP, have closed the Mason City location, effective today.
It’s been a hot spot in Mason City for more than 20 years. But now patrons will have to go somewhere other than The Other Place.
“I was told they’re closing the doors right now as we speak,” said Steve Hebel.
Folks who came to the OP weren’t greeted by the usual staff, but instead by a sign, saying the OP is closed for business. This came as a shock to Hebel, who has worked as a cook at the restaurant for more than a year. Hebel said he’s not the only one who’s been left in the dark about this decision.
“I was told the managers weren’t even given an explanation of what’s going on. They just came, the owners came and closed the doors,” said Hebel.
While this closing came as a surprise to the OP’s employees and patrons, it’s not as much of a shock to local business leaders.
“That’s just kind of the natural cycle. Businesses come and go. Sometimes it takes a year, sometimes it takes 20 years, sometimes it takes 50 years,” said Martin Walsh, the Executive Director of Main Street Mason City.
In an uncertain economy, closings like this aren’t unheard of, but Walsh said it’s also not something we’re seeing much of in our area.
“For an establishment like this to to go away, especially in the way that it did as such a big surprise for everyone, it’s definitely counter to the trend,” Walsh said.
Still, when just one business closes, that means someone is out of a job.
“There’s people that work there that have kids and families. I myself am single but you know, everybody’s gotta feed somebody,” said Hebel.
And instead of going to work, Hebel is heading somewhere else, somewhere he didn’t expect to be.
“I’m gonna go up there and see what’s going on. I’ve got a few things I want that are mine personally and then I’m going to the unemployment office,” said Hebel.
There are other OP locations in our area, but we’re told the closing of Mason City’s OP won’t impact the others.