Block E Applebee's closes
Hopefully that Block E casino idea will fly, because it's clear that fewer and fewer businesses can succeed at the troubled downtown development.
Applebee's is the latest casualty, closing its doors Sunday after being in business at the skyway location since 2003. Today there are crews in there, cleaning the place out.
Yep, there's no place like the neighborhood -- someplace else.
The Block E Hooters closed its doors just before Labor Day last year. GameWorks shut down a year ago, and Borders Books and Bellanote have also been casualties. (Kieran's Irish Pub moved into the Bellanote space last spring.)
The development opened in 2002, after a $134 million investment by McCaffery Interest of Chicago and Hard Rock Cafe, and $38.5 million from taxpayers. The Hard Rock Cafe, Graves 601 hotel and 15-screen AMC movie theater remain in place.
Its struggles be damned, developer Bob Lux and his Alatus LLC bought the complex last July for about $14 million, sensing opportunity where others failed.
In February, Lux offered one possibility for moving forward: A high casino. He's already met with Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak to pitch the plan. But it's all talk right now.
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