This is a curated, running list of new restaurant and bar closings in and around the Twin Cities. Did we miss something? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEDAR RIVERSIDE — Beloved Chinese bakery and cafe Keefer Court announced on social media on December 3 that its last day of business will be December 31. Keefer Court has been a pillar of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood for almost 40 years. Sunny and Paulina Kwan first opened the bakery in 1983, and their daughter, Michelle Kwan, took over operations in 2017 — as the post reads, Michelle is now “ready to pursue her own dreams and passion.” The closure leaves a massive, egg tart-shaped hole in the Twin Cities’ bakery scene, as Keefer Court was a go-to spot for steamed buns, sesame balls, and Hong Kong-style cooking, a true local legend. Here’s a deeper look at the bakery’s legacy.
DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS — Ties Lounge & Rooftop, which opened on Nicollet Mall in March, announced its sudden closure on social media on December 1. A four-story nightclub and community space by Stevie Moman, Tommy Joyce, and Gene Sanguma, Ties’ mission was to create an inclusive and welcoming nightlife space downtown. This may not be the end of the road, though. The closing post hints at future plans.
NORTHEAST — After 15 years in Minneapolis’s Northeast neighborhood, Red Stag Supperclub is closing on December 31, as it announced on social media in late November. “The restaurant business has been challenged since the onset of COVID-19, and in turn, the changing of consumer habits. These challenges have affected how all restaurants do business,” the post reads. Owner Kim Bartmann, a prolific local restaurateur, is opening a new Italian restaurant in Uptown, though, as Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reports. Bartmann was a James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurateur this year, though the nod stirred controversy.
COLUMBIA HEIGHTS — After 50 years on Central Avenue, Asia Chow Mein announced on Facebook in late November that its last day of business will be Christmas Eve, December 24. Owners Timothy and Winnie Ng, who first opened the restaurant in 1972, wrote a heartfelt goodbye to their customers, explaining that pandemic-related challenges have made it too difficult for them to carry on. “It is very sad for us to hang up our aprons to face the fact that we are getting too old to handle it with short staff, high food costs, and for the last 3 years we’ve worked 3 X’s harder than ever before,” the post reads. “Thank you to all of you, our staff who were with us past or present, we cannot have 50 years of memories without you.”
PAYNE-PHALEN — As Bring Me The News reports, East Side Bar is closing on December 23 after two and a half years in business. The bar opened in a historic building in St. Paul’s Payne-Phalen neighborhood in the early days of the pandemic, and place a special emphasis on craft beer. You can see owner Eric Foster talk more about the closing here.
UPTOWN — Stella’s Fish Cafe, a fixture of Uptown for 17 years, announced on Instagram in late November it was closing its doors. “We will miss the beautiful community that has come through our doors over the past 17 years,” the post reads. “You’ve truly supported a dream that has surpassed all expectations. We want to express a heartfelt thank you to the extraordinary team members who have served our mission with joy and love.” No reason was given for the closure. Stella’s was most recently in the news when, as CBS reports, a viral video appeared to show a rat or mouse rooting around in a bin of rice at the restaurant.
UPTOWN — As Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reports, Italian restaurant Amore Uptown closed in late November. But as mentioned above, look for a new Italian restaurant by local restaurateur Kim Bartmann moving into the space soon.
UPTOWN — After closing in January and reopening later in 2022, Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar announced its permanent closure in November. Racket MN has the full tribute to spaghetti floats at this circa 1970 spot.