BAXTER -- Patrons who frequent the River Nith Coffee & Books, formerly the Little Professor Book Center, in the Westgate Mall were stunned to discover the store closed Monday.
A sign posted outside the darkened store Monday stated that the book store was closed until further notice. Nearby store employees said that "men in suits" gave store workers their paychecks and sent them home Monday morning.
Westgate Mall manager Ruth Norman said Bremer Bank was involved in the closing of the River Nith Coffee & Books. She declined to comment on the situation and referred questions to the mall's corporate office in Cleveland.
John Ohlin, senior vice president at Bremer Bank, said the bank had no comment about the recent book center closure. It is the bank's policy not to discuss a client's financial situation, he said.
Mall patrons stared as they walked past the closed book store Tuesday afternoon. Many were walking to nearby stores and asking why the store was closed.
"A lot of people have been asking us what is going on, but we really don't know," said Barb Cullett, manager of Paul Bunyan's Sweet Tooth located near the book store.
"It's just a huge loss," said Stacey Waidelich, owner of nearby R.W. Jewelers. "People just love the book store. I think it's going to quiet the mall down. I'm really going to miss the River Nith."
Wayne Cummings, owner of River Nith Coffee & Books, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
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