A longtime Durango restaurant has closed shop after its owner decided to move to Virginia for a change in scenery.
“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said Rustin Newton, owner of Mutu’s Italian Kitchen. “I’m sure it will.”
Newton, who has lived in Durango for more than 20 years, opened Mutu’s about 15 years ago at 701 East Second Ave.
But recently, his significant other had a job opportunity in Virginia, and the couple decided it was time for a change. And it turns out, Newton also has family in Virginia.
Newton closed on the sale of the building in December, and Mutu’s last day in operation was Dec. 20. Newton said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian eatery was doing well.
“It’s very surreal,” he said. “It all happened pretty quickly.”
Newton said he’s going to take some time off, and then decide what’s next, whether that’s opening another restaurant or doing something else in the food industry.
“I’ll miss all the people I knew through the restaurant,” he said. “I’m sad that Mutu’s isn’t there because I think we were a great thing in the community.”
In its stead, a new restaurant is opening at the location.
Fur Trappers Steakhouse and Bar, which is located in Vallecito, is going to open a second location. The owners could not immediately be reached for comment.
In a post to social media, the restaurant said the location in Vallecito will remain closed until the Durango location opens.