MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Employees at a popular Uptown restaurant say they want money they worked hard for.

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Customers, and even some employees, showed up to Heidi’s in Minneapolis a week ago to find a sign notifying them the restaurant was closed.

The owners said it’s because they’re getting a divorce.

Whoever, employees are still wondering when they’ll get thousands in tips and wages.

In an industry already marked with unpredictability, an unforeseen closing of Heidi’s was a blow to employees who fear they won’t recover anytime soon.

“It’s pay check to pay check, because you really don’t know how much you’re making in a couple weeks,” Lonnie Manresa said.

Employees say they’d learned weeks ago about a closing on Dec. 31, and a potential re-opening weeks later.

“So we assumed, OK, we’re going to shut down for a few weeks,” Manresa said. “But then, we’re going to come back with a new restaurant.”

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But they had no idea the lock would go on the door months before.

Employees never received checks for October, amounting to $24,000 – those checks even included their tips.

Some say their checks for September’s pay were returned.

“We’re asking for the money we sweated for and worked hard for,” Manresa said.

WCCO reached out to Heidi’s chef and owner Steward Woodman, and he said the bank has frozen all accounts related to the restaurant.

“We are personally working to secure funding to cover the checks independently, but this will take time,” he said.

An attorney for the bank in charge of Heidi’s funds said the assets have not been frozen. He said the bank will honor any checks if there is money in the account to cover them.

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“We love the folks that stayed with us through a tough year,” Woodman said. “And it breaks our hearts that they have been hurt.”