BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — This week, two Belvidere restaurants closed for good and another announced it will be closing after 30 years in business.

Firebox Pizzeria, at 120 Buchanan Street, and Shortline Sushi, at 118 Buchanan Street, opened five years ago and announced their closures this week.

Russell Caldwell, who owns both restaurants, said, “This has been a long-term decision. This was not made in the spur of the moment. We’ve really crunched the numbers to see how it would work. Right now the economics of the community, as well as the food costs and tight labor supply, and having Chrysler or Stellantis leaving town for right now, makes it very difficult to keep those operations running.”

Caldwell said his restaurants produced a lot of waste without a steady influx of customers, and he has decided to return the businesses to catering only.

“We are going to keep the Firebox side of Shortline open as an additional venue space for wedding receptions and bachelorette parties, and things like that,” he said.

“We have a very steady core customer base that supported us and really liked coming in, and that’s going to be a change. And now that Lung Fung also has decided to close its doors, it’s going to reduce the number of options in town here,” he added.

Lung Fung, at 118 N State Street, announced it will be closing on September 10th.

“We would like to thank all of our wonderful customers, family, and friends for all of your support over the years. We will miss you all so much! It’s truly been our pleasure to serve you,” the restaurant said on Facebook.

Belvidere Mayor Clinton Morris said he hates to see businesses leave.

“They are the fabric of our community in our downtown. We want to have a vibrant downtown and its hard to compete, sometimes, for a business in a small community, a smaller community,” he said.

Morris said he hopes the economy turns around for the City of Belvidere.

“We will do everything we can to try and attract businesses, foot traffic, and maintain and keep business owners, especially those that have had a long history here So, we want to keep the old and we want to welcome the new,” Morris said.

Caldwell says he has seen the downward trajectory of his business but is pivoting to make room for more opportunities.

“We still have Sips and Sprinkles (221 W Locust Street). We are not going anywhere. Our catering is not going anywhere. We have two food trucks that are out. So I mean, we have many other things that we’re doing in town,” he said.

“You’re having a shift, you know, of people through town. And that’s just inevitable. Change is going to happen. And you just have to be willing to change with the times

The Shortline is currently up for sale.