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Medici House and Thea's, formerly Tantalus, closed in East Aurora

East Aurora restaurant Medici House closed after dinner Saturday, ending a 13-year run for a restaurant that started as Tantalus.

Owners John Rooney and Laurie Kutas will focus on The Yelling Goat, their Lancaster restaurant, 205 Central Ave. Some of the Ethiopian flavors from Thea’s, their Medici House side room, will continue on the Yelling Goat menu, Rooney said. "We're gung-ho on the Goat," he said. "It's flying over there."

He’ll be looking for another operator to take over the lease on the Medici House space at 634 Main St., he said.

Rooney said he was sorry to see Medici House end, especially for the people for whom it provided jobs. It had a staff of 45 or more, and “we couldn’t bring everybody” to the Lancaster location, he said.

Months of efforts to reduce costs and change the restaurant’s financial picture were unavailing, he said. A dramatic increase in East Aurora restaurant competition and rising costs, especially the state’s mandated minimum wage increase, made the decision inevitable, he said.

“We’ve had sleepless night after sleepless night looking at this thing, and did everything we could to invigorate it,” said Rooney. “But there was too much to allow us to function in a profitable fashion.”

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