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The Restaurant Community in Minneapolis Continues to Reel from The Weekend’s Unrest

For several nights in a row local businesses were either targets or caught in the fray as crowds raged

Minneapolis and St. Paul George Floyd protests
Fast food destruction left from the riots
Getty Images

Minneapolis and St. Paul have been rocked by unrest as peaceful protests erupted into riots fueled by anger over the death of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The former officer, who held his knee on Floyd’s neck as he repeatedly begged, “Please, I can’t breathe,” has been arrested and charged. The other officers involved in the arrest were fired by the department, but remain free.

In the melee, some businesses located at the heart of the riots were caught in the fray of chaotic situations, though others outside of the main area of the unrest also were targeted. Some near the intersection of East Lake Street and Minnehaha in Minneapolis were burned completely to the ground, while others on the relatively quiet Grand Avenue had windows smashed where there were no protests taking place, lending credence to the theory that the damage is not being perpetrated by those protesting.

The curfew for Minneapolis and St. Paul has been extended for June 1 and 2. Citizens are required to be in their homes from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. unless traveling to or from work.

In Minneapolis, at least ten restaurants were completely destroyed, in some cases completely burned to the ground. Those include Town Talk Diner, El Nuevo Rodeo Restaurante, Minnehaha Lake Liquor Lake Street, the Domino’s on 26th Ave So and E 28th Street, the Popeyes on Chicken Chicago Avenue, Olympic Cafe on West Broadway, Hexagon Bar, and Wendy’s East Lake Street. In St. Paul, Bolé and Bolé Express were both destroyed as well.

Some restaurants, like Pimento Jamaican Kitchen and El Burrito Mercado were guarded by citizens during the riots ready to defend them if anyone came and attempted to damage them. Those same restaurants continue to hand out supplies to neighbors in need.

Beloved Bangladeshi/Indian restaurant Gandhi Mahal was damaged by fire, but in a viral Facebook post, spoke up in support of protestors.

Hello everyone! Thank you to everyone for checking in. Sadly Gandhi Mahal has caught fire and has been damaged. We won’t...

Posted by Gandhi Mahal Restaurant- Minneapolis MN on Friday, May 29, 2020

Town Talk Diner, among those restaurants completely destroyed, expressed gratitude to the community for making them a part of the neighborhood, and asked for prayers for both Floyd and the city at large.

Unthinkable and surreal, Town Talk Diner and Gastropub again fell victim to the unfortunate rioting that occurred in...

Posted by Town Talk Diner & Gastropub on Friday, May 29, 2020

The Twin Cities and Minneapolis communities are already rallying behind the restaurants that faced damage, with GoFundMe campaigns and other fundraising efforts.

Several other restaurants (listed below) sustained less dramatic damage during the unrest. Minneapolis and Twin Cities is still digesting the full extent of the impact.

Gandhi Mahal Restaurant

Urban Forage Winery and Cider House

Teppanyaki Grill East Lake Street

Midori’s Floating World

Schooner’s Tavern

Midtown Global Market on East Lake Street

Ingebretsens on East Lake Street

Pineda Tacos East Lake Street

Little Ceasar’s East Lake Street

Subway East Lake Street

Bismallah Grocery & Coffee Chicago Avenue

Quruxlow Restaurant East Lake Street

Hamdi Restaurant in Midway

Drew’s Popcorn 23rd and 35th

International Bazaar at East Lake Street

Como Tap Como Avenue

Kitchen Window Uptown

Galactic Pizza

Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar

The Fremont Bar Uptown

Matt’s Bar

Iron Door Pub

Everett’s Foods on 38th and Cedar

Pantry Food Market 52nd Ave N and Bryant Ave. North

Pat’s Tap 35th and Nicollet

Casablanca Foods 33rd and Nicollet

Penzey’s Spices Uptown

Dairy Queen East Lake Street

Birchwood Cafe East 25th Street

Tiny Diner Nicollet Avenue

The green sign of The Turf Club on University Avenue
The Turf Club was damaged, but the iconic rock club and bar plans to rebuild
Turf Club [Official]

Turf Club

Trader Joe’s St. Paul

Peking Garden Midway

Noodles & Co Hamline Avenue

LeeAnn Chin Midway

Fire ‘n’ Ice Chicken