Rockford community reacts to the closing of Der Rathskeller

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A German restaurant beloved by many closes its doors after nearly 90 years of business.

"It's crushing for the community and for our family too," said Emily Hurd, The Norwegian.

"Sad to see them go but you know very proud to have had a restaurant that is family owned last for 90 years in this neighborhood," said Zak Rotello, The Olympic Tavern.

“It's sad that the culture disappears," said Olaf Bauschke, German Society of Rockford.

For nearly nine decades Der Rathskeller has helped families make ever-lasting memories.

"My parents had their first date at Der Rathskellers. They were both working at Ingersoll, they went over for lunch and my mom told her boss ‘I think I'm in love," Hurd said.

While keeping the German culture alive in the Forest City.

"There is one less establishment to give the opportunity for Germans to meet or guest for that matter that like the culture," Bauschke said.

Bauschke says the club meetings were held at Der Rathskeller.

"It's not a closed meeting people are invited. But this society is shrinking just like a lot of the culture clubs in town," Bauschke said.

According to a post on Der Rathskeller Restaurant Facebook page, it’s looking to find new owners so they can reopen this restaurant sometime in the near future.

"We hope somebody else wants to invest in this neighborhood. We are a really good strip of businesses. I hope somebody else wants to pick it up over there," Hurd said.

"Well, the North End is Rockford’s original Main Street. I think you have a lot of great things in the neighborhood you won't find elsewhere," Rotello said.

Any gift cards purchased within the last year at Der Rathskeller will be refunded just mail the card to the restaurant with a return address.