Fans of Hy-Vee's Market Grille restaurants look away now, because they're all being replaced.
The restaurant replacing them is Wahlburgers, the burger chain owned by the Wahlburg family that arrived in Minnesota in 2018 in collaboration with Iowa-based Hy-Vee.
The burger joints will replace all 21 of Hy-Vee's full-service Market Grille restaurants, including its 9 in Minnesota at Brooklyn Park, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Lakeville, New Hope, Oakdale, Savage, Shakopee and Rochester.
Unaffected by the change are the smaller Market Grille Express locations in Maple Grove, Plymouth and Robbinsdale, which will stay as is.
When Hy-Vee helped bring Wahlburgers to Minnesota, the restaurant at the Mall of America was to be the first of up to 26 franchised locations across the Midwest as a result of the partnership, with Wahlburgers food already featuring at a number of Market Grille eateries.
"Our customers are wanting more fresh and convenient meal options," a spokesperson told BMTN. "Our 21 Hy-Vee Market Grille restaurants will transition to a casual, counter-service Wahlburgers restaurant by early summer.
"During this transition, the dining area will be open , seven days a week, and will serve a modified Market Grille menu including breakfast, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches and other daily specials that can be ordered at a kiosk. The full-service bar will remain. Information about Wahlburgers grand opening dates and additional details will be shared at a later date."
But the news to make the full transition to Wahlburgers came as a shock to employees of Hy-Vee, with the Star Tribune reporting that they were told at an emergency meeting with little notice, and that most of them have been laid off while those staying on have allegedly been asked to work for lower pay.
One employee at the Eagan restaurant tweeted this about losing their job on Tuesday.
It comes as part of a wider restructuring by Hy-Vee that is also seeing it close four of its fulfillment centers, including one in Eagan that the Business Journals reports will affect 300 employees.
The news that the Market Grilles will be replaced by Wahlburgers has not been met kindly by some of the grocery chain's customers either.