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Muio’s owner would like to see restaurant, name continue after sale

Rob DiRenzo says he's 'willing to help and stay on for as long as anybody wants'
20210823 Muios KA
For sale signs in the windows of downtown icon Muio's Restaurant. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

Though the iconic building which houses longtime, popular downtown restaurant Muio’s is now officially up for sale, its owner says he would like to see a new owner continue to operate the building as home to the eatery and maintain the Muio’s name.

“Yes, absolutely,” Muio’s owner Rob DiRenzo told SooToday.

“That’s what I hope for and probably what a lot of people hope for. I’m willing to help and stay on for as long as anybody wants, if they want me to. Definitely. I would love for that to happen, but it’s not up to me. But if somebody wants that, then I’m certainly going to encourage it.”

In the meantime, DiRenzo told us he is going to explore various second career options.

Why the decision to sell the Muio’s building, located at the corner of Queen Street East and East Street?

DiRenzo said the effect of COVID-19 restrictions on business – including being limited to takeout during three lockdowns – and the recent passing of two family members led him to reflect on life and ponder what to do and where to go next.

DiRenzo owned and operated Muio’s since 1997, after his father and previous owner Rocco DiRenzo retired.

“We just thought, ‘Let’s sit and think, maybe it’s time to do something different'.” 

Despite COVID lockdown-related business stress and bereavements, DiRenzo, sounding upbeat, told us “we’re all excited,” referring to himself and his family as he considers what to do next.

“Some of the restaurant staff will probably retire, or see what happens if and when there are new owners. It’s hard to say right now.”

“I’ve gotten so much praise and positive feedback from my staff and customers, which is just wonderful,” DiRenzo said.

“I understand and appreciate how popular Muio’s is and it makes me feel great. Everything about it was fantastic.”

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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