Historic Forepaugh's restaurant closes following the death of its chef

Facebook: Forepaugh's

Facebook: Forepaugh's

Forepaugh's, the elegant (and potentially haunted) mansion restaurant that's been a St. Paul fixture for more than 40 years, has closed.

They delivered the news on Facebook Tuesday, in a post that's since been shared hundreds of times. “It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of Forepaugh’s Restaurant," the team writes. "Thanks for 11 great years!!!!”

The closure is reportedly a result of the recent death of chef Kyle Bell, who passed suddenly last month after a battle with the flu. He was 32.

“That really has taken the wind out of our sail,” Forepaugh's owner Bruce Taher told the Star Tribune. “He was very special, not just to myself, but to everybody. At some point you go, ‘I just don’t have the energy to move forward, so maybe it’s a good time to just stop.’” 

Taher, a food industry guy who also owned the Nordeast and Wayzata Eateries, brought new life back to the historic building when he bought it in 2007, updating Forepaugh's famed beef Wellington and adding everything from Thai curry to an elegant take on poutine.

Taher tells the Strib that he doesn't know yet what this means for the antique furnishings, the building, or the resident ghost—Molly—but staff have been offered jobs at his other food businesses.