RACINE — Cliff’s Boathouse Cafe is closing for good.
The lakeside restaurant located just north of Downtown at 301 Hamilton St. announced its closure on Facebook on Tuesday evening.
Within three hours, the post had received more than 300 reactions, 240 comments and more than 250 shares.
“I am so sorry, but it has to happen. We will miss every one of you,” reads the post, written by manager Marc Brunette. Clifford Wolosek is the owner, founder and head chef. Brunette is Wolosek’s stepson.
“Unforeseen circumstances” regarding “building and kitchen equipment” as well as the departure of staff played a role in the restaurant having to close, according to the post. The post said that the last day Cliff’s will be open is Labor Day, Sept. 3, although it may close earlier if it runs out of supplies.
Several Facebook users urged that a GoFundMe should be started to help keep Cliff’s open, although no account was set up as of Tuesday night.
“This is so sad! I am crushed. Need to get there this week,” one Facebook user commented.
“This hurts every feeling that I have. I’m so sorry you guys. However, we still love you and will support your next adventure, whatever that may be,” another wrote.
The restaurant, known for its Secret Recipe Potato Pancakes and for being Journal Times readers’ choice as “Best Fish Fry” in 2017, can only fit 29 people inside.
Cliff’s has usually only been open for breakfast and lunch, except Fridays when fish fries were served until 8 p.m. and would often lure enough customers to have a line stretching out the door.
It opened in 1987 in the parking lot of the Racine Eagles Club, using a converted boat house.