Open since 1963 Liquor Lyle’s, on Hennepin near Franklin Avenue, has announced it won’t be reopening. Instead, the institution, known for its quickly served 2-for-1 drinks specials, bar food, and a constantly turning jukebox is up for sale. The bar is one of several iconic dives of Minneapolis, neighborhood institutions that have served generations of drinkers: musicians, comics, shift workers, and late-night twenty-somethings looking to leave with company.
The round bar, red vinyl booths, and blessedly dim lighting were holdovers from another era that remained mostly static even as the neighborhood around it changed. For plenty of Minneapolis residents, drinking at Lyle’s was something of a rite of passage, with low prices and power happy hours where servers could make the remarkable feat of serving two full turns of doubled-up drinks to the entire dining room.
According to Axios, who first reported the sale, Liquor Lyle’s ownership group is led by Russell Spence, Ken Meshbesher, and Kim Meshbesher.
With its prime location, near Uptown, not far from downtown, and right near the freeway, it looks unlikely that the bar will be purchased and reopened as is when the real estate appears primed for more development or more apartment condos.
Lyle’s closed, like so many other bars, at the beginning of the pandemic over a year ago.