Uptown Bar moves closer to demolition

Uptown Bar moves closer to demolition
Courtesy of the Uptown Bar

Late last night, Chris Riemenschneider reported that the Minneapolis Planning Commission unanimously approved an application that would level the Uptown Bar on Hennepin and replace it with a three-story retail unit. The only chance of the bar remaining in the same location, according to the article, is if "the city's Heritage Preservation Committee intervenes."

Here's some information about the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Committee. Their next public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1.

In addition to reporting the Commission's decision, Riemenschneider also went into depth about the reasons the owner has decided to sell the bar--the 88-year-old owner, Frank Toonen, is selling the bar in order to get his estate in order and plans to leave the money to "his wife and the widow of his son, Kenneth Toonen, who ran the bar for several decades before he passed away last summer."

"This is strictly an estate-divestment situation," says Jeffrey Herman, a developer for Urban Anthology, which is the same company that built the neighboring Victoria Secret and American Apparel stores. According to the Star Tribune, Herman "hopes to begin construction on the new, unnamed store by winter."

Meanwhile, back on our own blog, Uptown booker Brian McDonough chimed in with the information he knows so far about the possible demolition and/or relocation of the bar. McDonough hopes that if the plans go through, the staff at the Uptown could find a new place for the venue:

I have been assured that there will be a bar. I don't know if Frank Toonen is involved or not or if it is going to be called the Uptown Bar. I don't know. I don't think that is what matters. It's not the owner or the name that made the Uptown Bar what it is to the city. It's the people who work there, the people who go there, and the bands that play there. The people who work there are still going to need a place to work, and the people who go there are still going to need a place to go.

McDonough also stressed that all of the shows currently booked at the Uptown Bar will still be taking place. View a complete schedule of upcoming shows on the calendar page of their website.

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