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A Foreclosure Sale Looms for St. Paul’s Keg & Case Market

After a few years in decline — due to the pandemic and other factors — Keg & Case has gone to its lender under foreclosure

The exterior of a brewery, with a grain shaft with red letters reading “Schmidt” attached, brick building structures to the left, and vertical grain shafts to the right, against a cloudy sky.
Keg & Case opened in West Seventh’s historic Schmidt Brewery in 2018.
Luke Marshall Johnson
Justine Jones is the editor of Eater Twin Cities.

Craig Cohen, owner of St. Paul food and retail hall Keg & Case Market, has entered into a voluntary foreclosure agreement, as reported on by Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. MidWestOne Bank, Cohen’s lender, is now listed as owner of record of the property.

The foreclosure comes after MidWestOne sued Cohen this spring over loan default allegations. Cohen confirmed the settlement an email to the Business Journal, saying he’s “hopeful the bank will engage a buyer who will enhance Keg and Case Market and keep the vision and mission of creating a festive, community gathering place for West 7th, Saint Paul, and the broader community.” The Business Journal reports that the property’s estimated market value is $3.2 million, according to 2022 Ramsey County property records.

Keg & Case opened in 2018 with an ambitious slate of tenants anchored by In Bloom, the open-flame fine dining restaurant by chef Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone of Revival. Home to Bogart’s Doughnut Co., Rose Street Patisserie, Revival Smoked Meats, and others, it was one of the buzziest openings of the year. But the pandemic hit hard: In Bloom closed in July of 2020, and its replacement, chef Brian and Sarah Ingram’s Woodfired Cantina, was open for a year before it closed in 2021. In 2022, the market received $1.2 million in federal relief grants to aid with a bounce-back.

But as the Pioneer Press reports, Keg & Cases’s troubles run deeper than a pandemic-related loss of foot traffic — some customers complain of a lack of seating and affordable grab-and-go options, saying that many vendors have been “niche,” “expensive,” and generally ill-matched to the mixed-income West Seventh neighborhood. Another recent tenant, Clutch Brewing, announced this month that it will close by year’s end. The current remaining vendors are Five Watt Coffee, Pimento, Starcade, Sana CBD, and Soapy Toads. Keg & Case remains open at present, and is hosting weekend holiday markets through December 23.