Following the publication of a recent story from the Globe Gazette about the closure of 1910 Grille in Mason City, the restaurant's former head chef has reached out to offer additional comment.
While the 1910 Grille announced Tuesday it would close its doors after nine years due to “continued staffing issues,” former staff members said they quit, feeling overworked and underpaid. According to two staff members who were interviewed separately and wished to remain anonymous because they fear retaliation, the majority of the staff of the 1910 Grille quit last weekend.
“We were doing (the) numbers that we were pre-COVID with a lot less people working,” one former employee said. “I’m very, very sad; it was a wonderful place to be,” said one staff member. “It’s a shame it was managed the way it was … We’re just really disappointed they (management) wouldn’t listen to us."
Steve Noto, who owns Stoney Creek Hospitality Corp., which manages the 1910 Grille and Historic Park Inn Hotel, shared his perspective as well.
“The last year was not fun for any restaurant,” Noto said. “Lately, business has been picking up and I can’t get any staff hired to help out the staff I had.
“I think they were just burnt out,” Noto continued. “I wasn’t able to get anyone hired, I’ve been looking for six months to get a new hire. It made it difficult to get (remaining staff) any help.”
While some employees felt management was to blame, former head chef Kurt Nyguard said on Friday he felt those complaints weren't warranted.
"I had a great relationship with management when I was there," Nyguard said. "Steve allowed me to run the place as I saw fit."
Nyguard stated he left the 1910 Grille in October of 2020 to help rebuild the food program at the Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown.
"When I was there, management was highly adaptive," Nyguard said. "Despite starting and growing a business, they always put quality first."
The 1910 Lounge will remain open; the owners are seeking bartenders.
Zachary Dupont covers politics and business development for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at 641-421-0533 or email@example.com. Follow Zachary on Twitter at @ZachNDupont
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