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After 50-plus years, restaurant at Catholic shrine closes

July 6, 2020 GMT

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A restaurant has closed after more than 50 years at a popular Catholic site in southwestern Illinois.

Management cited the impact of the coronavirus.

The Shrine Restaurant & Banquet Center in Belleville was in the visitor center at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, a Catholic retreat affiliated with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate religious order.

St. Lorenzo’s Hospitality, a company that managed the restaurant, made the announcement online, the Belleville News-Democrat reported Monday.

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“In an effort to remain healthy/safe and be in compliance with state regulations in place, the COVID-19 limitations for restaurants and banquet centers have had a detrimental effect on our financial stability,” the company said.

The restaurant had reopened for indoor dining on June 26 when Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifted some virus-related restrictions.

In December, St. Lorenzo’s told the News-Democrat that it had spent $70,000 on renovations, including new carpet, tables and chairs.

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