The beleaguered fixture of the Dinkytown restaurant scene, The Loring Pasta Bar has closed. Staffers received notice of a layoff Monday night, according to City Pages.
The space will get a minor remodeling and soon return as a new restaurant owned by three long-time managers of the former institution. City Pages reports that Joe Henkin, Lynn Nyman and Joe Kennedy will debut LRx Loring & Parmacy Bar August 9.
The Loring Pasta Bar first opened in 2001. It was named for owner Jason McLean’s original restaurant The Loring, an historic bohemian restaurant and bar in Minneapolis’ Loring Park. That first restaurant closed during a lease dispute with the building’s owner that ended with an epic block party in which a landlord effigy was hung in protest. At the time of that closure, there were reports of union busting and poor labor relations according to this 2002 Minnesota Public Radio report. Cafe and Bar Lurcat would eventually take over that location.
In 2015 McLean was charged in civil court in an alleged sexual abuse case involving the Children’s Theater Company where McLean was a lead actor in the 80s. He left that position to open the original Loring Bar in 1986, according to the Star Tribune’s report regarding the suit. It is unclear where exactly McLean is at this time. A Fox 9 report on February 2017 described McLean as being “on the run,” after failing to show up for a deposition in regards to the case.
A Minnesota Daily story from the nearby University of Minnesota campus detailed how the area was hurt by a recent boycott of the Loring Pasta Bar and the nearby Varsity Theater, both owned by McLean, in the wake of the allegations.
With the sale of the restaurant and the nearby Varsity Theater McLean, it would appear that McLean is completely out of the entertainment business.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mis-identified the sale as “employee management.” It has been corrected to “employee ownership.” Eater Twin Cities regrets the error.
- Loring Pasta Bar purchased by longtime managers; will relaunch as LRx [CP]
- Owner of Varsity Theater, Loring Pasta Bar accused in Children's Theatre sex-abuse suit [STRIB]
- Loring Cafe & Bar fights to keep its home [MPR]
- Varsity Theater owner on the run after being accused of sexual assault [Fox9]
- All Loring Pasta Bar Coverage [ETC]