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Family Owned Restaurants and Businesses Damaged In First Night of East Lake Street Riots

Already struggling businesses were dealt another blow

Minnesota community members mourned, protested and looted in reaction to George Floyd dying in police custody
Looters run from Minnehaha Liquors yesterday
Photo by Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Restaurants and retail shops found smashed windows and looted shelves after last night’s protests over the killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer turned violent overnight.

This was the second night of crowds gathering and demanding justice near the police department’s 3rd Precinct near the intersection of East Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue. Fires and looting soon erupted in the neighborhood as tensions between protestors and the police erupted, destroying many area businesses from up Lake Street to Bloomington Avenue. With fires continuing to burn and the area still unappeasable, reports are just beginning to come in, capturing the destruction.

The area is studded with small, family owned restaurants and food shops. From panderias to East African grocery stores, many are immigrant-owned and many have been operated by families for generations.

Minnehaha Lake Wine and Spirits has been serving the neighborhood since it was legal to sell alcohol, and run by the same family since 1983. Its vintage neon sign is an icon of the area. News cameras caught the looting of the shop happening early in the evening, and expletives spray painted on the exterior.

Town Talk Diner possesses another iconic sign of the area, and has been a small family-run restaurant since 2016. This morning, the words, “Kill Cops,” are visible spray-painted on the front door, under the iconic sign. The restaurant had its windows smashed, interior looted, and chairs and tables strewn about. In a Facebook page post, the gastropub owned by Charles Stotts and Kacey White, simply said, “We have no words. Godspeed, Minneapolis.”

We have no words. Godspeed, Minneapolis

Posted by Town Talk Diner & Gastropub on Thursday, May 28, 2020

Urban Forage Winery & Cider House, a cozy taproom found its front doors smashed and the inside looted this morning. Owners Jeff and Gita Zeitler voiced frustration to the Star Tribune with the Minneapolis Police Department saying that the local police have been useless for “quite some time,” and the vandals who created the chaos.

Midtown Global Market, a food hall and market run by a neighborhood development nonprofit, will be closed, at least for today, due to damage. Blocks away, Ingebretsen’s Nordic grocery store, which has been a part of the neighborhood for generations, was smashed and looted. Chicago Lake Liquor had sentries posted and product all over the sidewalk when news crews drove by this morning. Local restaurants weren’t the only institutions to be damaged. A Wendy’s location was burned, a nearby Target was extensively looted, and area grocery stores Cub Foods and Aldi, the area grocery stores were looted as well.

Reports are still coming in, and it’s unclear what the total damage to other restaurants in the neighborhood will be, as the fires still burn. Requests for comment were not immediately returned. Meanwhile, a fund to help rebuild the area has been established. Visit We Love Lake Street for more information.

Town Talk Diner & Gastropub

2707 East Lake Street, , MN 55406 (612) 353-5398 Visit Website

Midtown Global Market

920 East Lake Street, , MN 55407 (612) 872-4041 Visit Website