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Whiskey Junction Blames Minimum Wage Hike for Closing

The wage increase hasn’t gone into effect yet

A victim of the wage increase?
Whiskey Junction / Facebook

The Whiskey Junction in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood announced its intent to close yesterday, via a Facebook post from its co-owner Tom O’Shea. Last call at the Whiskey will come December 31. The loss of the music venue and bar hits hard after the closure just last week of its neighbor, the Triple Rock Social Club.

When the Minneapolis City Council passed a minimum wage increase to $15 with no consideration for including tips as income, restaurant owners cried foul and predicted a wide swath of closures. Although that increase has yet to take effect, O’Shea pointed a finger at the new policy when citing a reason for the closure. In the post he said, “Unfortunately, after recent changes in the Minneapolis ordinances regarding minimum wages and primarily the lack of a tip credit provision, we feel now is the time to get out of the bar business.”

Toughest decision! After 12 great years of business, The Whiskey Junction will be closing its doors for good. Our...

Posted by Tom O'Shea on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The building that houses The Whiskey Junction has stood at 901 Cedar Avenue South since Grainbelt Brewing built it in 1886. According to City Pages, it’s been a live music venue since 1984. The current owners, O’Shea and Elizabeth “Little” Obregón re-opened it in 2007.

A show to send the Whiskey to rock n’ roll Heaven was announced yesterday. On December 29 The One Hit Wonders, Fuzzy Machete, Vibe Corp., and Dry Ice will play the club into memory.