Sisters Gourmet Bistro, located at 719 Main St. in Van Buren, shut down after normal business hours Sunday night (May 11), according to restaurant owner Richard Hodo.
“We serve alcohol,” Hodo said. “We were the first ones to serve alcohol in 65 years.”
Hodo said the restaurant had more than 100 reservations on Mother’s Day, but after they finished work Sunday evening, he told his 20 employees that he was shutting down the restaurant and gave them their final checks.
When 5NEWS asked Hodo why he closed the restaurant, Hodo cited frustrations with Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman.
He said he hadn’t gotten any support from the mayor, and he’s tired of “fighting the system.”
One of the incidents Hodo went into detail on was during the recent Main Street Music Festival. He wanted to put a beer garden on property across the street from his restaurant. Hodo said the mayor wouldn’t allow him to do so.
5NEWS contacted the mayor for a statement on the issue, but one was not immediately given.
Hodo also claims that he’s had no problems with the Van Buren City Council.
Unsure of whether or not he’ll sell the property, Hodo did note that he was overwhelmed from the response of customers who want to see the restaurant stay open.
When asked if he might consider reopening the business, he was unsure but said, “My wife and I are in our seventies, and we need to slow down a little bit anyway.”