ST. CLOUD - After making the announcement several weeks ago, the downtown St. Cloud Bo Diddley's officially closed its doors on Friday afternoon.

The restaurant closed at 2:00 p.m. Chairs, lights, tables and other items were carried outside to the patio to be prepared to be auctioned off.

Bo Diddley’s Pub and Deli was first established in 1981 in St. Joseph and is known for its award winning sandwiches. Melissa Mitchell has been a regular customer at the downtown location for eight years, she says the food and family atmosphere appealed to her.

"I like the statement it made when you walked in and of course the food," Mitchell says, "I feel like it was coming home and they made me feel like that."

John Forsythe, who owns the three Bo Diddley’s restaurants said the store closed down due to several factors. The downtown location is too large of a space in relation to rent and prices, Forsythe added that the impending minimum wage hike played a large factor in the decision to close the store.

“The notion that businesses are raking it in and can simply pay employees double simply isn’t true,” Forsythe said.

Forsythe added that his store partners also wanted to get out due to a lack of profits at the location and that the intersection lost with the division street redo played a part in closing the store.

Due to the downtown location closing, Forsythe plans to expand the location at 129-25th Avenue South this summer and would like to double the seating at the restaurant, pending city approval.

Forsythe added that cribbage and folk music nights would also be moved to that location, and that he’s proud of the atmosphere those events bring.

‘We’re proud of the culture that both of these groups and events provide,” Forsythe says.



An empty Bo Diddley's a few minutes before closing. (Dan DeBaun, WJON News)
Chairs stacked outside as Bo Diddley's closes. (Dan DeBaun, WJON News)
Dan DeBaun, WJON News