Conundrum Wine Bistro opened more than 18 years go on Route 1 in Freeport. Photo by Angie Bryan

Conundrum, a wine bar by the Big Indian on Route 1 in Freeport for more than 18 years, closed this month because the owner could not adequately staff the restaurant.

“Lack of employees, it’s as simple as that,” owner Vinny Migliaccio said about why he closed Conundrum while tending bar Tuesday at El Jefe, the taco bar he opened next door in 2017. Area restaurants have been feeling the pinch of a labor shortage since at least 2015

Migliaccio said the decision came two weeks ago, after a particularly stressful service, when he felt he couldn’t properly serve customers with the number of employees he had. He said he’d been struggling with a shortage of staff for a couple years.

Migliaccio said his Conundrum employees are now working at El Jefe.

He did not have immediate plans for the space, which he owns.

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