Last year the Twin Cities saw more than 60 restaurants close, including long-time staples such as the Oak Grill and Skyroom at Macy's, The St. Clair Broiler, and Lucia's.
Just last week came a report that the 510 Lounge, which replaced La Belle Vie on Hennepin Avenue, shut down after just six months in operation. And Mavericks in Roseville closed this week.
But all this rapid change in the restaurant scene is nothing to fear, said Stephanie March, food editor at Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine.
"The big ones that we get sort of verklempt about ... but you know this kind of thing happens all the time," she said. "There is a cycle in the restaurant industry."
This time of year, after the holidays, restaurants that were coasting by usually meet their reckoning early in the new year, March said.
The reason? Money. They aren't making enough of it.
Why they aren't raking it in, though, is where restaurants differ.
"Are you not making money because your service model isn't working with the new minimum wage? Is it because the traffic has changed because of construction? Is it because the menu hasn't changed in 10 years?" March said. "It's such a complex industry, and they're all complex businesses."
The way people dine in the Twin Cities is always changing and restaurants have to change along with it.
For example, March said, in 2008 a lot of fine dining restaurants had to close their doors during the big recession. But from that trend emerged food trucks as popular eating option, which then lent to the popularity of breweries.
"So it's not necessarily that people are eating out less, they're eating out differently," she said. "And chefs need to figure that out."