16 Feb 94 Twin Cities restaurants that closed in 2020
Saying goodbye to a beloved watering hole, a neighborhood café or a four-star restaurant is never easy. But in 2020, the pain kept coming as the pandemic brutalized the Twin Cities hospitality industry. Some restaurants, already hurting from dining restrictions, were swept up in the destruction that unfolded in the Minneapolis and St. Paul riots. Again and again, places that surprised and delighted us, that entertained and nourished us, served their last meals. Here are 94 of them — nearly three times the number of closings we wrote about in 2019.
Yes, the list is incomplete. Many restaurants don’t make announcements on Instagram or send out news releases. Others promise to reopen at some unspecified time in the future — and we hope that they do. And some simply slip away quietly, until a particular craving sends us to their doors, only to find that dreadful sign that proves the nightmare of 2020 was real: Closed.
- Ike’s Food & Cocktails (50 S. 6th St., Mpls., ilikeikes.com/) After 18 years in business, the downtown Minneapolis institution has closed its doors permanently, citing failed lease negotiations with the building owner. Read our coverage here.
- McKinney Roe (530 S. 4th St., Mpls., mckinneyroe.com/) A three-year run for McKinney Roe has come to an end. With the Minnesota Vikings season over, the restaurant neighboring U.S. Bank Stadium closed mid-January. The restaurant had a tumultuous couple of years as it tried to find its footing in the burgeoning neighborhood, where a regular nighttime crowd never materialized. In 2019, it transformed from a high-end, bistro-style spot to an Irish pub. Read our coverage here.
- Blackbird Cafe (3800 Nicollet Av., Mpls.) A south Minneapolis favorite of early birds and brunch-goers for more than a decade has shut its doors. Owner Todd Zallaps wrote on Facebook that “it has been an uphill battle since I took over approximately a year and a half ago, and I can no longer justify trying to hang on.” Read our coverage here.
- Caribbean Smokehouse (423 Main St. S, Stillwater, 651-342-2673, caribbeansmokehousemn.com) A year after opening in the former location of Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque in Stillwater, Minn., Caribbean Smokehouse has closed. According to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page, what was intended as a temporary closure in November became permanent in early January.
- Erik the Red (601 Chicago Av., Minneapolis, 612-249-5999, eriktheredbar.com) The “Nordic BBQ” spot near U.S. Bank Stadium closed Jan. 1. But there’s good news: the Vikings bar has found a new home in south Minneapolis. It is moving to the Lowa46 development, an apartment building with a small Cub at 46th and Hiawatha. The restaurant’s smoked bacon, elk brats and more were slated for return in summer or fall of 2020, but the place “continues to live in exile” during project delays, according to Instagram. Read our coverage here.
- The Bird (1612 Harmon Pl., Mpls., thebirdmpls.rocks/) After several attempts to get her Loring Park restaurant to take off, Twin Cities restaurateur Kim Bartmann is grounding The Bird. According to an Instagram announcement, the restaurant’s storefront is shuttered as the team shifts focus from a brick-and-mortar restaurant to catering and delivery service. “The Third Bird will live on in its digital form,” reads the announcement. Read our coverage here.
- Foxtrot Burger Spot (1341 Pascal St., St. Paul) Another casualty of COVID-19, Foxtrot has been closed since March and will not reopen. Owner Matty O’Reilly is downsizing his restaurant portfolio, which includes Sandy’s Tavern in Richfield and Republic in Minneapolis.
- Ginger Hop/Honey (201 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-746-0304, gingerhop.com) Honey, the beloved basement club on E. Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, closed permanently in late March along with its sister restaurant Ginger Hop, following extended closures related to the coronavirus pandemic. The owners said they were already considering the future of both businesses before the coronavirus reached Minnesota. Read our coverage here.
- New French Bakery (2609 26th Av. S., Mpls., 612-455-7500, risebakingcompany.com) The New French Bakery, a staple on the local bread scene for nearly a quarter-century, is calling it quits. The closing date? “No later than Friday, March 6,” according to signs posted at the bakery’s retail outlet in south Minneapolis. There’s a simple reason for the closure: The bakery’s parent operation, now called Rise Baking Co., is discontinuing its fresh breads, with plans to concentrate on its wholesale frozen bread products. Read our coverage here.
- Big Daddy’s BBQ (625 University Av. W., St. Paul, 651-222-2516, bigdaddysbbq-stpaul.com) After announcing it would close at the end of 2019, the longtime barbecue spot granted fans of its ribs a reprieve, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. It remained open until March 31, and the building in which it is housed will be developed into a mixed-use commercial and office space.
- Sleepy V’s (1226 2nd St. NE., Mpls., sleepyvs.com) Northeast Minneapolis doughnut shop Sleepy V’s closed early April, but it’s not only because of coronavirus. “It was a lot of things,” said co-owner Vince Traver. “We were crashing and burning anyway.” The operation faced a number of bumps in the road, including an early name change to avoid trademark litigation. Traver said he also contended with lease issues, labor costs, and slow business this past winter. “And then this happened,” he said, referring to the coronavirus, and the state’s efforts to stop its spread by closing restaurants for on-premise dining. Read our coverage here.
- Egg & I (2828 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-872-7282, eggandimn.com) Lyn-Lake breakfast cafe the Egg and I has closed permanently, following a statewide order shutting down restaurants for on-premises dining. Its St. Paul sister restaurant, known informally as the Big Egg, will stay open (2550 University Av. W., St. Paul, 651-647-1292). Read our coverage here.
- Anelace (2402 Central Av. NE., Mpls., 612-236-4870, facebook.com/anelacecoffee) An electrical malfunction in an apartment fireplace is suspected of igniting a fire that damaged several residences and retail storefronts along Central Avenue in northeast Minneapolis — including Anelace Coffee, which announced April 21 that it would be closing permanently. Read our coverage here.
- NE Arcade (1032 3rd Av. NE., Mpls., ne-arcade.com) The bar and arcade announced April 22 that it would close permanently. It had only opened in northeast Minneapolis last November. “I want to thank you all for your support during these past few months, as we tried to get this little business off the ground,” wrote the owner on Facebook. “Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to continue, and have to announce our permanent closure.”
- Izzy’s Ice Cream (2034 Marshall Av., St. Paul, izzysicecream.com) After two decades on the Twin Cities ice cream scene, one venerable shop is calling it quits. Izzy’s Ice Cream is permanently closing its first cafe, in St. Paul’s Merriam Park neighborhood. Both the St. Paul shop and the newer Minneapolis location, at 1100 2nd St. S., had been dark since March 17, in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.The Minneapolis shop closed Aug. 31. Read our coverage here.
- El Burrito Minneapolis (4820 Chicago Av. S., Mpls., elburritostp.com) St. Paul’s El Burrito Mercado closed its short-lived Minneapolis outpost. “With all the unknowns, it’s just too much,” said co-owner Milissa Silva-Diaz. “It didn’t feel like we had a choice.” The Silva family opened the restaurant in August 2018, taking over the longtime home of the former Pepito’s Family Mexican Restaurant, which had closed the previous year. Read our coverage here.
- Bachelor Farmer/Marvel Bar (50 2nd Av. N., Mpls., 612-206-3920, thebachelorfarmer.com) The Bachelor Farmer, one of the state’s top restaurants, will not reopen. The North Loop restaurant, its casual daytime cafe and Marvel Bar craft cocktail lounge have been dark since Gov. Tim Walz ordered all Minnesota restaurants closed in mid-March to combat the spread of the coronavirus. “As you know, the future of hospitality is incredibly uncertain and over the past month, we have tried our best to navigate this uncharted territory,” co-owner Eric Dayton said in a statement. “We have explored the option of takeout, most likely evolving into a hybrid model of takeout and reduced-capacity dining room service in the months ahead, but there’s just no way for that level of business to support the financial weight of our company and the building we call home. We were already walking a fine line before COVID-19, and given that no one knows how long the impacts of this pandemic will last, or what the new normal will be, I do not see a viable path forward.” Read our coverage here.
- 4 Bells (612-904-1163, 4bells.com) The Lowcountry cuisine spot on Loring Park, known for its fried chicken and peel-and-eat shrimp, has closed “indefinitely,” according to its website.
- Giordano’s (2700 Hennepin Av., Mpls.) The Chicago deep-dish pizza spot closed May 29. Another location in Richfield remains open (3000 W. 66th St., Richfield).
- Mama Safia’s Kitchen (2700 E. Lake St., Mpls.) Owned by a Somali immigrant, Mama Safia’s Kitchen was badly damaged by fire in the Minneapolis riots. A GoFundMe has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars toward rebuilding.
- Midori’s Floating World Cafe (2629 E. Lake St., Mpls., floatingworldcafe.com/) The longtime East Lake Street Japanese restaurant was so badly damaged in the Minneapolis riots, owners Midori and John Flomer don’t know when it can reopen there. In the meantime, they are opening a pop-up takeout operation three days a week at the Seward Cafe in January 2021. Read our coverage here.
- Scores Sports Bar (2713 E. Lake St., Mpls. ) More than a million dollars was raised to start the rebuilding of this new sports bar, owned by a firefigher, that burned down in the Minneapolis riots — just before its grand opening. Read our coverage here.
- Hexagon Bar (2600 27th Av. S., Mpls.) The more than 70-year-old watering hole, with a hexagon-shaped bar, was destroyed by fire in the Minneapolis riots.
- El Nuevo Rodeo (2709 E. Lake St., Mpls., elnuevorodeo.com/) The Latin nightclub was destroyed by fire in the Minneapolis riots. Read our coverage here.
- Seafood to Go (2930 Chicago Av., Mpls. ) A takeout window with wings, shrimp and fries was destroyed in the Minneapolis riots. Read our coverage here.
- Olympic Cafe (923 W. Broadway Av., Mpls.) This Greek cafe/fried fish and chicken spot was destroyed in the Minneapolis riots. Read our coverage here.
- Gandhi Mahal (3009 27th Av. S., Mpls., curryinahurrymn.com/) Destroyed by fire in the Minneapolis riots, owner Ruhel Islam famously said, “Let my building burn, justice needs to be served.” His words echoed around the world. While Islam plans to rebuild, a process that could take four years, he has opened a new version of the restaurant, Curry in a Hurry, at 3025 E. Franklin Av., Mpls. Read our coverage here.
- Addis Ababa (2713 E. Lake St., Mpls.) This Ethiopian restaurant was destroyed by fire in the Minneapolis riots. Read our coverage here.
- Town Talk Diner (2707 E. Lake St., Mpls.) The gastropub with a historic sign was destroyed by fire in the Minneapolis riots. Read our coverage here.
- Bolé Ethiopian Restaurant (490 Syndicate St. N., St. Paul, boleethiopiancuisine.com/) The restaurant and Bolé Express, a neighboring fast-food spot that was slated to open May 31, were both destroyed by fire in the St. Paul riots. A fundraiser for the rebuilding rasied over $150,000 and the owners have secured a new, nearby location to open in 2021.
- Bar Brigade (470 Cleveland Av. S., St. Paul, 651-340-3568, barbrigade.com/) Despite a profitable early part of the year, the 3-year-old French neighborhood spot shut down in May due to restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and will not be reopening. Owner Matty O’Reilly is downsizing his restaurant portfolio, which includes Sandy’s Tavern in Richfield and Republic in Minneapolis. “I have two kids, so the school equation for me was too challenging to consider operating 4 units with so many unknowns,” he said. O’Reilly hopes to reopen Bar Brigade elsewhere in the future, “but I’m not entertaining that idea until next year at least.”
- McCormick & Schmick’s (800 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., mccormickandschmicks.com) After 20 years on the corner of Nicollet Mall and 9th St. in Minneapolis, McCormick & Schmick’s has closed permanently. “Our lease was set to expire, and due to COVID-19 and the city’s elimination of dine-in services, we decided not to renew our lease and close our doors,” said Howard Cole, COO of McCormick & Schmick’s, in a statement. Another McCormick & Schmick’s, at the Westin Galleria hotel in Edina, remains open for pickup and delivery. Read our coverage here.
- Fig + Farro (3001 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-208-0609, figandfarro.com) The Calhoun Square plant-based restaurant is closing permanently. “With uncertainty of when we can reopen our dining room safely, we have decided to turn our mission of food and climate into a foundation,” said an announcement from the restaurant on Instagram. Since its launch, Fig + Farro held monthly guest lectures, classes and events that addressed climate change and fostering a healthier planet. The restaurant’s last day was May 31.
- Burger Jones (3200 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-746-0800, burgerjones.com) Donna Fahs, the chief operating officer of Parasole Restaurant Holdings, which owns and operates the restaurant, said Burger Jones had been successful and the company had signed a lease extension last year. But the company that manages Calhoun Village, Doran Commercial, had another business interested in the spot, and asked Parasole leaders if they’d like an out, Fahs said. Already facing revenue losses over the state-order shutdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Fahs said Parasole “decided it was in our best interest to take the deal and walk away.” She also cited minimum wage increases in Minneapolis. Read our coverage here.
- Moose & Sadie’s (212 3rd Av. N., Mpls., 612-371-0464, mooseandsadies.com) After almost 30 years, the North Loop cafe has closed. “The economic impact of this crisis was just too much for our small business to overcome,” owner Peter Kirihara wrote in an Instagram post. When it opened in 1991, the coffeehouse quickly became a popular outpost on the fringes of what was then the Warehouse District. The surrounding blocks later evolved into the North Loop and the area became a dining, shopping and residential hot spot. Kirihara’s enterprise was part of a wave of next-generation coffeehouses that were popping up in the Twin Cities in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Read our coverage here.
- Bonfire (Multiple locations: Woodbury, Savage, Blaine, Eagan, bonfirewoodfirecooking.com) A message on its website May 15 announced the closure of all Twin Cities Bonfire locations. “We were already walking a fine line before COVID-19 and given that no one knows how long the impacts of this pandemic will last, or what the new normal will be, we do not see a viable path forward.”
- A Cupcake Social (3800 S. 28th Av., Mpls., 651-243-1114, acupcakesocial.com) May 30 was the last day for this south Minneapolis cupcake shop and food truck. “It is with heavy hearts that we write this, but the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. has had greater impact on our small business than we anticipated,” the owners wrote on Instagram.
- Vivo Kitchen (15435 Founders Ln., Apple Valley, 952-891-8808, vivomn.com) The sprawling restaurant’s 350-seat setup — which grows to 500 during patio season — transitioned into a modest takeout operation, and revenue plummeted 88% in the weeks since COVID-19 took hold in Minnesota.The last day of takeout service was May 23. Read our coverage here.
- Pazzaluna (360 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-223-7000, pazzaluna.com) The 21-year-old Italian restaurant in downtown St. Paul, has permanently closed.The restaurant, owned by Morrissey Hospitality, has been dark since March 17. “Irrespective of when restrictions are lifted, we are not confident in the immediate return of customers who are worried about their health and family members,” said Morrissey president Richard Dobransky in a statement. “Pazzaluna was created for our customers to enjoy each other’s company in a sharing, vibrant atmosphere.” The official closing date was May 31. Read our coverage here.
- Fuji Ya (600 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-871-4055, fujiyasushi.com) The popular Japanese restaurant in Lyn-Lake known for its sushi happy hour, is shutting its doors for good. The restaurant was open for take-out when the pandemic began, limiting its takeout menu to Thursday-Saturday evenings. On May 7, Fuji Ya closed on what they stated was a “temporary basis,” according to a Facebook post. The website now states that the business is permanently closed: “Thank you for your support! Unfortunately we are closing our doors.” Fuji Ya, which means “second to none” according to the restaurant’s website, was founded in 1959 by Reiko Weston. At the time, Japanese cuisine was virtually nonexistent in the Twin Cities. Read our coverage here.
- Cleveland Wok (767 Cleveland Av. S., St. Paul, 651-699-3141) Closed for a remodel since a February 2019 fire, the 20-year-old Highland Park restaurant announced it won’t be returning.
- Bar Luchador (825 Washington Av. SE., Mpls., 612-379-1450, barluchador.com) The 5-year-old Mexican restaurant and wrestling-themed bar in Stadium Village announced its closure on May 4, in a message on its website. “We could keep scratching and clawing our way through these strange weeks and months and try and keep fighting,” the announcement said. “But I really don’t know what the restaurant world is going to look like when this is all said and done, and I just don’t know if we would have been able to make it. So we are packing it in.”
- Muddy Waters (2933 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-872-2232, muddywatersmpls.com) Co-owners Sarah Schrantz and Paddy Whelan decided to close the business, in Minneapolis’ Lyn-Lake neighborhood, for good, starting May 4. Schrantz said the closure was “one of countless costs” of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she supported Walz’s orders. “In context, shutting down was the definition of compassion from the people of Minnesota,” she wrote in an e-mail. “It was right.” Read our coverage here.
- Keegan’s Irish Pub (16 University Av. NE., Mpls., 612-252-0880, keeganspub.com) Northeast Minneapolis next-door neighbors Keegan’s Irish Pub and the Red’s Savoy Pizza on University Ave. NE are the latest coronavirus closures in the Twin Cities restaurant world. The businesses both permanently closed at the end of the workday on June 30. Keegan’s had already been closed for three months. The 18-year-old Keegan’s was in a “challenging” situation with its landlord, owner Marty Neumann said. Neumann also cited a rise in property taxes, and “then COVID came and put us in a bad situation.” Read our coverage here.
- Red’s Savoy Pizza Minneapolis Northeast (18 University Av. NE., Mpls., savoypizza.com) The pizzeria, which has the same landlord as Keegan’s Irish Pub, has been in its current location since 2017. It was able to reopen at partial capacity following the governor’s loosened restrictions announced June 10. The Minnesota franchise has 17 other locations.
- Lush (990 Central Av. NE., Mpls., 612-208-0358, lushmpls.com) The LGBTQ nightclub and restaurant announced June 26 on Facebook that it would “remain closed for an indefinite period,” and saying that when it is safe to reopen, it will come back as “a redesigned concept, a new leadership structure, a reimagined entertainment program and an enhanced commitment to diversity and equity.”
- Herkimer Pub & Brewery (2922 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-821-0101, theherkimer.com) An anchor near the intersection of Lyndale and Lake in Minneapolis since 1999, the Herkimer Pub & Brewery is ending its run. The neighborhood brewpub, home to shuffleboard and corn hole leagues, had its last day of service June 24. Read our coverage here.
- Public Kitchen + Bar (229 6th St. E., St. Paul, publickitchenstpaul.com) The Park Square Court building on 6th St. E. across from Mears Park is converting into an apartment building, and construction would have shuttered two of chef Justin Sutherland’s restaurants, Handsome Hog and Public Kitchen + Bar, for up to 16 months, Sutherland said. Instead, Sutherland is closing Public permanently, and moving the neighboring Handsome Hog to the home of another of his projects, deep-dish pizzeria the Fitz. Read our coverage here.
- The Fitz (173 Western Av. N., St. Paul, thefitzstpaul.com) The Fitz is closing to become a newer, larger Handsome Hog, although some of its pizzas will remain on the new menu. Read our coverage here.
- The Bad Waitress Northeast (700 Central Av. NE., thebadwaitress.com) The diner’s 3-year-old northeast Minneapolis outpost has permanently closed. “We are focusing our efforts at our original Eat Street location at 26th and Nicollet,” says an announcement on its website. “There will be a new restaurant taking over the space that will be opening in the near future.”
- Sugar & Spice Sweetery (15621 Grove Circle N., Maple Grove, sugarandspicemn.com) Opening just six weeks before dining was halted in Minnesota due to COVID-19, this bakery transitioned to take-home kits and celebration cakes, but on June 28, owner Dawn Olson-Wallerus closed the retail operation for good. Olson-Wallerus will continue a custom cake business in the space, and the storefront is being folded into the neighboring Rock Elm Tavern brand.
- Patrick’s Cafe (12489 Elm Creek Blvd N, Maple Grove, patricksbakerycafe.com/) The Maple Grove outlet of this bakery and cafe has closed. Other locations, at Southdale Square in Edina and at 60th and Lyndale in Minneapolis, remain open.
- Roasted Pear (14200 Nicollet Av., Burnsville; 9690 Colorado Ln. N., Brooklyn Park, roastedpear.com/) After 17 years in Burnsville and 8 years in Brooklyn Park, the family-owned restaurant and bar announced June 3 that it had closed both locations.
- Octo Fishbar (289 5th St. E., St. Paul, octostp.com/) The Lowertown St. Paul seafood restaurant helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Tim McKee, closed July 25. “We closed the restaurant at this time and have no plans to reopen,” said Loren Zinter, managing partner. “The impacts surrounding COVID proved to be just too much.” Read our coverage here.
- Allie’s Deli (527 S. Marquette Av., Mpls., alliesdeliandcatering.com/) The downtown Minneapolis skyway spot known for breakfast sandwiches and soup-and-salad lunches, has closed.
- Popol Vuh (1414 NE. Quincy St., Mpls., 612-345-5527, popolvuhmpls.com) The fine dining counterpart to the casual taqueria Centro in northeast Minneapolis, has closed. The sister restaurants opened in 2018, and both showcased the skills of their co-owner, chef José Alarcon, who hails from southern Mexico. Named for a Mayan poem, Popol Vuh’s dinner-only tasting menus highlighted hearth cooking, smoky moles, hand-ground masa tortillas, classic Mexican ingredients and a rare Mexican wine list. The Star Tribune’s 3.5-star review called the restaurant “pulse-quickening.” Announced July 20. Read our coverage here.
- The Wedge Table (2412 Nicollet Av., Mpls., tccp.coop) Twin Cities Co-op Partners announced it was closing the Wedge Table July 19 through the end of 2020. “Since the pandemic started, customer counts and sales have decreased dramatically at the Wedge Table,” said a blog post on TCCP’s website. “The space was intended as a meeting and gathering space for the community – not primarily as a grocery store…As a small grocery store alone, the business model does not work. And as the lower sales indicate it is not filling as important of a role for our customers.”
- Bellecour (739 E. Lake St., Wayzata, bellecourrestaurant.com/) Gavin Kaysen’s four-star French bistro and bakery in Wayzata, has closed permanently. “As the days and weeks have gone by, we have realized that in a location that is so dependent on seasonal success we are losing more than we can sustain. When the pandemic came, it was just as we were gearing up for the season, and our ability to bounce back has been extremely limited,” Kaysen said in the announcement. Bellecour opened in 2017, the second Minnesota effort from the James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur, who had previously won accolades for Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis. Announced July 16. Read our coverage here.
- The 508 Bar + Restaurant (508 N. 1st Av., Mpls. , 612-339-0036, bar508.com/) After 12 years, the Warehouse District spot has closed. “The 508 simply cannot survive the business restrictions which stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the team wrote July 16 on Facebook.
- Bar Brava (1914 N. Washington Av., Mpls., 612-208-1270, barbravamn.com) The north Minneapolis natural wine bar announced July 15 on Instagram that it was closing its doors. “We are playing things by ear so stay tuned for future updates,” said the post.
- In Bloom (928 7th St. W., St. Paul, kegandcase.com/) The dynamic anchor to the Keg and Case Market in St. Paul, quietly closed July 6. “As the decline in fine dining continues in the restaurant industry as a whole, our vision for In Bloom has run its course,” owners Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone said in a statement. “We are grateful to the Keg and Case team, our fellow merchants in the market and the entire West 7th, St. Paul community for the opportunity.” The ambitious restaurant was part of the Twist Davis Group, which also operates the hugely popular Revival in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Read our coverage here.
- ONE Fermentary & Taproom (618 N 5th St., Mpls., fermentary.one/) A brewpub with a mission of fostering inclusivity in craft beer culture has closed “indefinitely to weigh our future options,” according to a post on Instagram. Read our coverage here.
- Curran’s (4201 Nicollet Av., Mpls., currans-restaurant.com/) After 72 years in business, the family restaurant has closed its doors for good, making way for a five-story, 82-unit rental building. Dennis Curran said that the pandemic forced him to close the restaurant at the corner of West 42nd Street in the Kingfield neighborhood known for its all-day-breakfast, vinyl booths and fresh-squeezed orange juice.Closed Aug. 23. Read our coverage here.
- Butcher & the Boar (1121 Hennepin Av., Mpls., butcherandtheboar.com/) Butcher & the Boar, which has anchored the corner of 12th and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis for the past eight years, has quietly closed. The last dinner service was Aug. 31. “Due to COVID-19 and the unrest in Minneapolis we are closing our doors permanently,” read a sign posted on the restaurant’s door. “Thank you all for your support over the years.” Read our coverage here.
- Izzy’s Ice Cream (1100 S. 2nd St., Mpls. , izzysicecream.com/) Twenty-year-old Izzy’s Ice Cream is has gotten out of by-the-scoop business, closing its Minneapolis ice cream shop on Aug. 31. In April, Izzy’s closed its scoop shop on St. Paul’s Marshall Avenue, a storefront where owners (and spouses) Jeff Sommers and Lara Hammel founded their business.
- Lakeshore Grill (Southdale and Ridgedale Malls) Macy’s has quietly closed its Lakeshore Grill restaurants at Southdale and Ridgedale. The permanent closings represent a genuine end-of-an-era moment in Twin Cities dining. The Lakeshore Grill’s lineage can be traced to the original Dayton’s in downtown Minneapolis.
- Costa Blanca Bistro (416 Central Av. NE., Mpls.) The Spanish tapas bistro from chef Hector Ruiz is now closed, but a new concept is in the works.
- Don Raúl (4953 Xerxes Av. S., Mpls.) Chef Hector Ruiz is converting his southwest Minneapolis restaurant Don Raul into El Travieso Taqueria.
- R. A. MacSammy’s Elbow Room (735 E. 48th St., Mpls., ramacsammys.com) The mac-and-cheese and sandwiches spot closed its brick-and-mortar location at 48th and Chicago at the end of July. Its food truck followed suit Sept. 18.
- Prieto (701 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-428-7231, prietotaqueria.com) Chef Alejandro Castillon’s Lake-and-Lyndale taqueria has closed, but is moving to a new location in south Minneapolis (4751 Nicollet Av. S.), switching to more casual counter service and adding a ceviche and raw bar.
- Taco Cat (920 E. Lake St., Mpls., tacocatmn.com/) After seven years delivering tacos by bike, Taco Cat is closing. The taco takeout business with a food truck and a stand at Midtown Global Market served its last meals at the end of September, when its lease on the Market space ran out. Co-owner Tristan Jimerson said there were multiple factors at play, but the main reason to call it quits was safety. Read our coverage here.
- Bardo (222 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-886-8404, bardompls.com/) A northeast Minneapolis bistro-turned-hot dog spot is the latest restaurant casualty of COVID-19. Bardo announced Sept. 20 on social media that it would end its run that night after more than three years in the neighborhood. “Friends, it is with a heavy heart we announce, tonight we close our doors. We thank you for every opportunity,” said the brief note, alongside a photo of chef/co-owner Remy Pettus. Read our coverage here.
- Sushi Tango (3001 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., facebook.com/sushitangowoodbury/) After pausing business in the summer, the Calhoun Square restaurant announced Sept. 3 that it had closed permanently. Another location, in Woodbury’s Tamarack Village, remains open.
- Honey & Rye Bakehouse (520 N. 4th St., Mpls., honey-and-rye.com/) The North Loop outpost of the St. Louis Park bakery, in Graze food hall, closed Oct. 31. “There are many contributing factors, not least of all the pandemic and a looming MN winter,” said an announcement on Instagram. “Like many others in the industry, we have experienced a loss of sales that we are unable to overcome.”
- Carbon Pit Beef (520 N. 4th St., Mpls., carbonpitbeef.com/) The North Loop’s Graze food hall loses another vendor, this one with Maryland-style coal-fired “pit beef” sandwiches and Old Bay fries. The owners cited “the current economic climate” to the closure in an Instagram announcement Oct. 27. But the closure may not be permanent. “While this door is closing we have the every intention of opening another so stay tuned to find out where and when you can find authentic Pit Beef again,” they wrote.
- Chino Latino (2916 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., chinolatino.com/) The global street food concept near the corner of Lake and Hennepin for 20 years, closed Oct. 25. “The decline was in place three to four years ago,” said Phil Roberts, co-founder of Parasole Restaurant Holdings in Edina. “It began gradually and then COVID and the protests and rioting hit.” Read our coverage here.
- Sonder Shaker (130 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls. , 612-353-6557, sondershaker.com) After pivoting to meal kits, a takeout window and socially distant indoor dining, Sonder Shaker halted its offerings, according to an Oct. 19 post from the restaurant on Instagram. Other ventures may be in the works, including bottling the bar’s Old Fashioned.
- Purple Onion Cafe and Catering (1301 University Av. SE., Mpls., facebook.com/purpleonionmn/) The Dinkytown institution closed in October 2020. “It is with great sadness that we announce our permanent closure,” reads a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve the U of M campus for 30 amazing years. The memories made inside these walls will live on forever.” (Espresso Exposé, the Purple Onion’s sibling establishment — across campus in Stadium Village — ended its 25-year run when it closed in 2016.)
- Signage for Birch‘s Lowertown when it opened in September of 2018.Birch’s Lowertown (289 E. 5th St., St. Paul, birchsonthelake.com/birchs-lowertown/) The restaurant and taproom inside Market House Collaborative in St. Paul’s Lowertown served its last meal Oct. 17. Owner Burt Joseph said the restaurant and its downstairs piano bar were doing well before COVID. “Unfortunately, when we were able to reopen after the mandated closure, we were the only restaurant in Market House Collaborative to do so and we weren’t able to regain any momentum,” Joseph said. “The shortened Saint season and reduced capacity also contributed and we didn’t see the traffic we anticipated.”
- Rah’mn (300 Snelling Av. S., St. Paul, rahmn.online) The Mac-Groveland ramen spot closed Oct. 13 “due to the challenges of Covid-19,” according to a statement.
- The Grand Cafe (3804 Grand Av. S., Mpls., grandcafemn.com) The Grand Cafe, a longtime restaurant in south Minneapolis’ Kingfield neighborhood, has ended its second chapter. Established in 2006 at the corner of 38th and Grand by Dan and Mary Hunter, the Grand Cafe was reborn in 2017 under the tutelage of chef Jamie Malone. Malone and her team quickly won national praise for the kitchen’s whimsical approach to Parisian classics — including a Paris-Brest pastry filled with chicken liver mousse that landed on the cover of Food and Wine magazine when the Grand Cafe was named a 2018 Restaurant of the Year. Malone’s version of the Grand Cafe served its last dinner Nov. 14. Read our coverage here.
- Granny Donuts (1555 S. Robert St., West St. Paul, facebook.com/Grannys-Donuts-117637168261782/?fref=ts) A fixture in West St. Paul since 1987, this bakery has been closed since the start of the pandemic. In November, its building was sold to developers.
- Just/Us (275 4th St. E., St. Paul, facebook.com/justusrestaurant/) The Lowertown St. Paul restaurant announced Nov. 15 that it had closed “indefinitely.” It had only been in this location since the beginning of the year, after moving a few blocks from the original downtown St. Paul location due to disputes with its landlord. “After losing half of our original team of founders in March of 2019, those of that still believed in what just/us could be stuck it out,” wrote one of the founders in an Instagram post. “While our belief in just/us remains strong — the sacrifices we’ve had to make in order to survive COVID have made our vision in this location unattainable.”
- Burger Jones (1619 County Rd. 42 W., Burnsville, burgerjones.com/) The last remaining Burger Jones closed Nov. 8. (The Uptown location closed in May.)
- Surly Brewing Co. beer hall and pizzeria (520 Malcolm Av. SE., Mpls., 763-999-4040, surlybrewing.com) Surly Brewing Co. — the epitome of the phrase “destination beer hall” — has pulled the plug on its enormous southeast Minneapolis entertainment complex, which closed Nov. 2. Read our coverage here.
- Rock Elm Tavern (16605 County Rd. 24, Plymouth; 15641 Grove Cir. N., Maple Grove, 763-208-4451; 763-205-9784, rockelmtavern.com) While the owners renegotiate the Plymouth location’s lease, which expries in February 2021, Rock Elm Tavern has suspended operations as of Dec. 22. The Maple Grove location is taking a break until March 2021.
- McDonald’s (407 15th Av. SE., Mpls., mcdonalds.com) The iconic Dinkytown location of McDonald’s has closed. Read our coverage here.
- Truce (Multiple locations, Mpls. and Wayzata, drinktruce.com/) As of Dec. 20, Truce, the organic juice bar, has closed its three locations, in Minneapolis’ Uptown and North Loop and in Wayzata. “The juice business is not an easy one, and we simply cannot see a path forward without compromising the integrity of our values or product, especially given the pandemic-led uncertainty ahead,” the company said in a statement on its website.
- Wayzata BrewWorks (294 Grove Ln. E., Wayzata, wayzatabrewworks.com/) After five years on the shore of Lake Minnetonka, this Wayzata microbrewery announced its closure Dec. 8, citing the financial strain of the spring shutdown and a mandated reduction in capacity during the summer.
- Unideli (2015 E. 24th St., Mpls., 612-721-6677, unitednoodles.com/) The popular ramen and barbecue pork counter inside United Noodles has closed. In it’s place? Machi Machi, a Taiwanese tea brand with international outlets.
- Simply Steve’s Mobile Food Truck (Mobile, facebook.com/SimplyStevesFoodTruck/) After 10 years slinging Cajun turkey burgers and burritos, this early addition to the local food truck scene has closed as of Dec. 6.
- Penny’s Coffee (3509 W. 44th St., Mpls.) The coffee shop closed its Linden Hills location on Dec. 13, but the building won’t stay dark for long. Shawn McKenzie, the gifted pastry chef who has made Penny’s a destination for all things butter and sugar, is taking over the site of her former employer (she left in October) and opening her own place, Café Cerés, within the next few weeks. Other Penny’s locations in Minneapolis and Wayzata remain open. Read our coverage here.
- Ol’ Mexico (1754 Lexington Ave N, Roseville) After 41 years, the Roseville Mexican restaurant has closed.
- Peace Coffee shops (Multiple locations, Mpls.) The Minneapolis-based roaster is not reopening its three stylish downtown Minneapolis coffee outposts. Two are located in the Capella Tower at 225 S. 6th St. (both opened in 2015), and the third, which debuted two years ago, is in AT&T Tower at 901 Marquette Av. All have been closed since the start of the pandemic in March.It’s a different story at the company’s 10-year-old south Minneapolis shop (3262 Minnehaha Av. S.), which is getting a makeover. Peace Coffee has teamed up with Wildflyer Coffee, a Minneapolis-based specialty coffee company that works to provide job stability to homeless youth and end youth homelessness. Read our coverage here.