Hexagon Bar gutted by fire

What was left of the Hexagon Bar on Friday.

What was left of the Hexagon Bar on Friday. Jay Boller

Flames engulfed the historic Hexagon Bar early Friday morning as riots ripped across Minneapolis following Monday's police killing of George Floyd.

This dramatic photo captures the intensity of the fire at 2600 27th Ave. S.:

Now the building is mostly reduced to smoldering rubble:

"A devastating loss to the South Side community," says former Hex bartender Lesley Spaeth. "The Hexagon was consistently filled with people of all different walks of life ⁠— different ages, different races, different religions. It was a clusterfuck in the best way possible."

Opened in 1934, the Hex became a blue-collar drinking institution in the Seward neighborhood, one named for its hexagonal wooden bar. It was the last remaining bar at the 26th Street and 26th Avenue intersection known as the Hub of Hell, an area infamous for its "tippling houses," mobster regulars, and a violent 1935 labor strike. In recent history, our Best Dive Bar of 2017 has served as one the city's best incubators for live DIY music, regularly showcasing local punk, indie, and metal acts. 

"We've always had good rapport with our customers, and with police, and with the neighborhood," Hex owner Bill Hupp once once told City Pages. "Our neighbors, they like the Hex. They take pride in the Hex, and that being their place."

Hupp could not be reached for comment Friday morning.