ALTON - Two favorite eateries seemed to have closed their doors until further notice Tuesday morning. 

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Rib City, located at 201 E Center Dr in Alton, and family-owned Princivalli's Cafe, located at 602 E. Third St., both closed their doors after Jan. 1. Each had a sign on the door, but neither fully offered an explanation for its closure. 

Rib City's door featured a sign saying "closed," telling loyal patrons to frequent its Des Peres, Missouri., location, located at 1181 Colonade Center in Des Peres

"We would like to thank you for your loyal patronage of Rib City Alton," the sign said. "Due to circumstances beyond our control, we closed effective Dec. 31, 2016.

"Please visit our Rib City franchise located outside St. Louis at 1181 Colonade Center, Des Peres, MO., 63131 (314) 965-7427. 

"Gift Card inquiries may be directed to Beth Watson at our Corporate Office or (239) 275-6700 Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. EST." 

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A green sign on the Princivalli's door was issued by the State of Illinois Department of Revenue saying the business was closed and the business's certificate of registration is revoked.

"Warning, this business' certification is hereby revoked," it stated. "Persons who engage in the business of selling tangible personal property at retail after their certificate of registration has been revoked are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and will be subject to criminal prosecution and penalty." 

Alton Mayor Brant Walker said the closures of the businesses took him by surprise. He said Rib City had renewed its liquor license, and was valid in the city through the end of 2017. Princivalli's Cafe, he said, did not renew its liquor license. Walker said that establishment was also behind on its food and beverage taxes, but could not comment regarding how much that amount may be. 

"I really liked it, it was a great restaurant," Walker said of Princivalli's. "Both of those restaurants were busy all the time. Both of those places always had a crowd. I'm surprised at both of these, but especially Rib City."

In an official statement, Rib City President Craig Peden said, “It is never our intention to have to close any Rib City location. We choose our franchise locations very carefully, but unfortunately the franchisees in this case were overconfident in the market. We repurchased the franchise in 2015, but the challenges of this location continued.”


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