Well this one hurts.
Lee’s Liquor Lounge, the corner bar that became the twangiest, swing-dancingest place to be in Minneapolis in the ’90s, is closing up after 62 years in the biz.
The problem? Parking.
According to the Star Tribune, the city of Minneapolis had let the bar use an adjacent 84-car surface lot for years. But with Southwest Light Rail construction impending, the city needs the space for equipment storage, general manager James Rhines told the Strib.
Lee's rests on a lot that’s ringed by freeways and somewhat marooned between downtown Minneapolis, Near North, and the Target Field area on 101 Glenwood Ave. N. But thanks to booker Nate Dungan of the band Trailer Trash, it turned into ground zero for a rootsy, rowdy scene during the Clinton impeachment era.
Longtime owner Louie sold Lee's to longtime regular Craig Kruckeberg in 2015, who mostly kept the place as is, except for a few modernizing touches.
There’s no word yet on the future of the site, but we can only hope it will soon be transformed into more new housing that I can't afford.
For the grand finale at Lee’s, Texan country renegade Dale Watson will perform on May 12 and 14. Watson was a frequent touring presence at Lee’s over the years. He even wrote a song about the place.
Anyway, this sucks.