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Just 7 months in, Justin Sutherland's Pearl & the Thief is closing. But there's good news!

Gone—but not forever!

Gone—but not forever! Facebook: Pearl and the Thief

Justin Sutherland—the Handsome Hog chef who's quickly becoming a TV star thanks to appearances on Iron Chef and this season of Top Chef—announced Wednesday that his Stillwater restaurant, Pearl & the Thief, is about to close.

The last day of service? December 31.

“I just want the restaurant closer to the base of operations, because I want to spend more time in the kitchen at Pearl,” the rising star told the Pioneer Press, citing the commute as one of the reasons it just wasn't working out.

That means that for Twin Citizens—sorry, good people of Stillwater—the news is actually excellent. Because you won't have to leave town to get to Pearl & the Thief either: Sutherland and co-owner Joe Pirri are making moves to Minneapolis, in a location to be announced soon, and hope to open here by July.

It's the latest in a string of Big News for Sutherland, who also announced less than a month ago that he and restaurateur Pat Conroy are teaming up to oversee a slew of local eateries, including Gray Duck, Eagle Street Grill, and OxCart Alehouse. (They're not all named for animals; Fitzgerald’s, Public Kitchen and Bar, and Green Lantern are part of the group as well.)

And folks in Stillwater won't have to stay sad long—or at least, they'll soon be able to drown those sorrows in all kinds of tequila and mezcal drinks.

The PiPress reports that Pearl & the Thief's space is coming back to life soon: this time, as a "Latin-inspired" restaurant from Brad Nordeen and Joe Ehlenz. They're the pair behind Lolo American Kitchen—with locations in Stillwater and Hudson, Wisconsin—and they see this as a tacos-and-tequila version of those spots. 

Their latest in Stillwater should be ready for you before January's out.