Eugene's Excelsior Restaurant will close by month’s end
Another loss is on the horizon for Eugene’s food scene. The Excelsior near the University of Oregon campus will close its restaurant at the end of this month.
The Excelsior has been a popular fine dining spot for 50 years. It was a French café when Maurizio Paparo bought it in 1993. He transformed it into an Italian Ristorante. Paparo said the pandemic has changed things and people aren’t drawn to food service jobs.
“The industry has been decimated with staff,” he said. “The last few weeks we lost a few more people. They want to move on and do something else and I have absolutely no way to replace it.”
Ironically, the restaurant has been busy.
“The sad part of it. We’re not closing for being slow. We’re closing for being busy,” Paparo said.
Paparo told KLCC he’ll keep the adjoining hotel open as long as possible— at least through the summer when the World Track & Field Championships come to Eugene. But the restaurant will close at the end of February.
“We’re going to have a great month of celebration. And the food, the ambience, and the service is going to be respected,” Paparo said. “But if I can’t do that to that standard, then I made a decision that it’s better to accept that it’s a different time.”
Meanwhile, major construction is planned nearby. The 7-11 and Glenwood Restaurant on Alder Street are going to be torn down to construct student housing. Paparo says that disruption is another reason he decided to close the restaurant.
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