Wood-fired pizza joint closes for good at 50th and France

Despite its prominent location, the restaurant was losing money.
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50th and France has lost a prominent restaurant, with Mozza Mia closing its doors on Sunday.

The parent company of the wood-fired pizza and Italian restaurant, Parasole, said the decision was made because the location was losing money.

"The current operating environment doesn't favor restaurants," a statement from Parasole said, adding the action was taken "regretfully."

"It’s a sad day because their food and service was great," stated Parasole co-founder, Phil Roberts. The company says it is working to move the restaurant's staff to its other locations around the metro.

A Parasole spokesman told the Business Journal that the "whole environment cost-wise" was "really pressing in on restaurants," adding that this included the minimum wage, city licensing and food costs.

As the website points out, Mozza Mia is in Edina, so would not be affected by efforts in Minneapolis to raise the minimum wage and introduce sick leave rules, though the minimum wage at state level has increased in recent years.

The restaurant is in prime location at the 50th and France intersection, occupying a spot opposite the Edina Theater on West 50th St since 2010, and its parasol-covered outdoor patio makes it a popular summer spot.

Mozza Mia's website has been updated to reflect the closure, saying anyone holding gift cards able to get them redeemed at other Parasole locations.

These include the nearby Salut Bar Américain on France Ave. as well as Burger Jones at Lake Calhoun and Burnsville, Chino Latino and Libertine in Uptown, Manny's Steakhouse, The Living Room and Prohibition at The Foshay, Muffuletta Café in St. Paul’s Como Park and the Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse and Good Earth restaurants.

New restaurant opening

While Mozza Mia is on its way out, a new restaurant will be opening near 50th and France.

The Business Journal reports that Excelsior's Coalition Restaurant is opening its second location in the former home of 50th Street Café at 3808 W. 50th St., next to the Pig and Fiddle.

There will be seating for 100 people in the location, with a full bar, breakfast service seven days a week and a menu of steaks, lamb, park, burgers, grilled vegetables and seafood. It's hoping to open the first week of May.

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