Panino’s closes its doors

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Although a sign on the door says it is undergoing temporary kitchen maintenance, Panino’s at the U in Stadium Village has closed its doors for good.

The owners of the business were evicted last week, John Trautz, one of the building’s owners, said.

“It’s too bad it didn’t work out because we think Panino’s has the best wrapped sandwiches in the Twin Cities,” he said.

While difficulty finding parking in the area played a role, owner Chet Kurtz attributed the restaurant’s failure largely to money troubles.

“It just has a lot to do with the economy,” he said. “We hate to do it.”

While Trautz wouldn’t say whether Panino’s failed to make rent, he did say that 99.9 percent of unlawful detainer actions, or evictions, happen because rent is not being paid.

“That’s the reason far and away most of those happen,” he said.

Employees were notified a couple weeks prior to the closing and have received their final paychecks, Kurtz said.

Having opened in January 2007, the Washington Avenue location was the newest in the Panino’s chain, Kurtz said.

The restaurant chain has two other locations in Minnesota, a stand in TCF Bank Stadium and three in Colorado, all of which will remain unaffected, he said.

“I like Chet Kurtz,” Trautz said. “He’s a good man and it just didn’t work out.”