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RJ's Tavern in downtown Hastings closed

RJ's Tavern on Main in downtown Hastings has closed its doors. It closed Tuesday morning.

Owner Joe Ryan said that a combination of factors resulted in the closing.

"Right now I'm not inclined to discuss it (at length)," he said. "The bridge didn't help. The lack of parking downtown. The bridge and every time you go downtown there's a different road configuration. (And) it's a tough business environment."

When asked if the restaurant could reopen at any point, he said: "That's being considered."

In a letter posted to their website, signed by the owners and management, the closing was explained like this:

"In 2007, several years after being purchased from its previous owners, RJ's Tavern underwent a major/costly renovation in an effort to grow the business and to better serve its customers. Unfortunately, completion of this project coincided with the height of the economic downturn during the second half of the decade and business started to decline. In 2010, construction of the new Hastings bridge commenced with road, access and parking closures ... further impacting already stagnant sales. During these difficult times, owners and management continued to make every effort possible to reduce expenses and increase business but, ultimately, these factors took their toll, leading to this very difficult decision. 

"We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our lenders, partners and vendors for working with us throughout these difficult times. Most importantly, we would like to thank our dedicated employees and loyal customers for making RJ's Tavern what itwas over the years, for the friendships and all the good times had."