The Blind Rabbit restaurant closed its Riverside location for good Sunday afternoon but there's still speculation as to why the popular whiskey bar shut its doors.
First Coast News was there Monday as movers cleaned out the building. A woman identified as a manager by another employee confirmed the closure but declined to comment any further.
A person claiming to be an employee sent FIrst Coast News an email shortly after midnight Sunday morning:
"Without warning The Blind Rabbit will be shutting down, leaving it's employees to fend for themselves. This is the second time the Stanford family has shut down the restaurant and fired its entire staff. The reason for the abrupt shutdown was due to being unable to afford the rent at the beach location and the riverside location. "
Hours later, on Sunday afternoon, The Blind Rabbit posted a message one Facebook telling it's patrons "goodbye" but did not mention why they were closing.
We set out to Verify why the The Blind Rabbit Riverside was closing down.
We reached out to The Blind Rabbit and a management company possibly liked to the business, none of them have responded so we can't yet verify that anonymous claim.
As to what happens to the employees? We also got no answer.
The closure comes two years after one of it's employees 20-year-old Daniel Rowe, a cook, was gunned down during a robbery behind the restaurant.
Suspect 25-year-old Erron Markese Coleman was later arrested for Rowe's murder.
Some are speculating the closure is due to a lawsuit Rowe's family filed against the property owner.
The Rowe families attorney, Zach Von Roenn, clarified the family is not suing The Blind Rabbit restaurant itself; thus Roenn did not believe the closure was due to them.
Rowe's family posted a comment on The Blind Rabbit's Facebook post, supporting the restaurant.
The Blind Rabbit location at Jacksonville Beach remains opened.