Struggling West Ave. business closing

Jade Cafe closes on Sunday

Published On: Jun 26 2013 09:42:02 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 26 2013 10:57:58 PM CDT
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Jade Cafe on West Avenue in La Crosse will close its doors for the last time on Sunday.

Ryan Niemeier owns the business and says he's lost more than $100,000 since opening less than a year ago.

"In my heart, I knew probably three months ago, unless something change dramatically, we were going to have to be closing," said Niemeier, "the finances weren't what they needed to be for us to stay open."

Amy Peterson, La Crosse's planning and economic developer says it's a tough industry to be in and a tough location to do business.

"Typically restaurants have a hard time," says Peterson, "their rate of success is probably half of other businesses."

Peterson believes it's a struggle to compete with the city's downtown.

"We've got a really strong downtown now a days and people flock to downtown, it's a destination," says Peterson, "the location on West Ave. may not be as strong as a destination."

Much of Jade Cafe's business came from college students. Once they went home for the summer, sales plummeted.

"Initially, sales were cut in half, from day one to having the palce pretty full with finals to the next day empty, ghost town," says Neimeier.

Peterson hasn't heard of any new leads of businesses to replace Jade Cafe.