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Paraquad's Bloom Cafe permanently closes

Paraquad's Bloom Cafe permanently closes

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Business is "Blooming" at the Bloom Cafe

Flowers are key to the decor at Bloom Cafe in St. Louis. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Bloom Cafe, the restaurant that doubled as part of Paraquad’s employment-training program for individuals with disabilities, has permanently closed at 5200 Oakland Avenue in Kings Oak.

Bloom Cafe announced the closure Thursday on Facebook, citing the coronavirus pandemic. The restaurant would have celebrated its third anniversary in March.

“This year has been really, really tough,” Paraquad president Aimee Wehmeier tells Off the Menu. “And we were hanging on and hanging on and kept waiting for it to pass.”

However, she says, the situation reached the point where even Bloom Cafe’s manager and assistant manager told her it didn’t make sense to stay open.

“It was hard to make a decision, but it was the decision that had to be made, or (the restaurant) starts to impact our other programs and services because we're obviously losing money,” Wehmeier says.

While Bloom Cafe is now closed, Paraquad’s culinary-training program will continue. Wehmeier says she is “really excited” about that program.

“Right now, the timing is just tough for everybody,” she says.


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