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.
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.
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
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
Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar
The Fremont Bar Uptown
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
Trader Joe’s St. Paul
Peking Garden Midway
Noodles & Co Hamline Avenue
LeeAnn Chin Midway
Fire ‘n’ Ice Chicken