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Longtime Lowertown Bar Could Be the Next to Fall for New Condos

Developers offer to buy Kelly’s Depot Bar

A line of stools before a green laminate bar. Behind the bar is a collection of booze bottles.
It’s not yet been determined what will be Kelly’s last day
Kelly’s Depot Bar & Grill/Facebook

Kelly’s Depot Bar, a family-owned neighborhood bar that has been operating in Lowertown since 1989 could be sold to developers and torn down for a seven-story apartment building. The Pioneer Press reports that the 2,900 square foot space at 241 East Kellogg Boulevard was listed for $1.9 million through Edina Realty this summer.

St. Paul’s Historic Preservation Committee will review the proposal on October 4.

The historic Depot Bar was opened as “Kelly’s,” by John Kelly, Sr. After he passed away in 2013, the family continued to run the business that’s known for its crinkle-cut fries, burgers and affordable prices.

The business has remained largely unchanged as the neighborhood around it has undergone massive redevelopment. The area would be unrecognizable to a person from the late 80’s: there’s an actual functioning depot now, for one thing. There’s a light rail line and numbers retail, restaurant and condos now surrounding the humble little bar with a suddenly rare parking lot.