Say goodbye to a legendary karaoke night, killer open-mic comedy, and one of the best bottle lists around: After nearly two decades in downtown Minneapolis, this could be the end for Grumpy's Bar and Grill.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal has the scoop, reporting on plans submitted to the city last week. A Z-shaped, eight-story building—with 150 market-rate apartments and 1,400 square feet of ground-level retail space—has been proposed at the corner of Washington and 11th Avenues. "Ox-Op Gallery and Residences" would take over the punk-y dive's 1111 Washington Ave. S. address, snaking around the existing Day Block Brewing Company and Langford Tool House. (Hence: the Tetris-piece shape.)
There'd be just over 100 parking spaces for cars, plus another 220 for bikes. And that first-story space along Washington Avenue won't house another bar or restaurant. The proposed tenant is Ox-Op Art Gallery, the art studio run by Grumpy's owner Tom Hazelmyer, from which the development takes its name.
This wouldn't be the first Grumpy's to close—according to the Star Tribune, that would be the now-defunct Coon Rapids iteration, which opened in 1995 and sold in 2008. Grumpy's Downtown, which opened in '99, will be survived by Grumpy's Northeast (open since 1998) and Grumpy's Roseville (open since 2008).
Plans go before the City Planning Commission later this week and are available in full here.
Update, 6/26: Grumpy's expanded on the closure in a Tuesday morning Facebook post, citing food trucks, rising property taxes, and their aging old building as deciding factors in the sale. ("It’s been a great run, and to all of you who supported us, we can’t thank you enough. We are humbled. And to the pedal pubs, and those assholes from the suburbs that left the occasional one star pissy review on a max capacity game day crowded bar, you folks can still fuck right off.")
The bar will close this fall, but there's no exact date yet. Read the statement in full below.
First off, we won’t be closing the downtown location until this fall, an exact date forthcoming. Second off, we are not the developers on this upcoming transformation, but we let the people we invited to help us use the Ox Op name and are working with them to create a new Ox Op gallery at the new location. They’ve been great to work with and beyond respectful of what this transition means to us.
We appreciate the hell out of 20 years of support from the area and we would have gladly stuck around for 20 more, but to be blunt, the way tastes are changing downtown we would have maybe made it a couple more years by the skin of our teeth. You all know the demographic shift around these parts is massive, and our declining sales bear that out.
There's been a thousand paper cuts like a few hundred food trucks roaming downtown daily, property taxes being ten times what they were when we opened, a building in need of overwhelming repair, etc. etc. etc. and it is what it is. We’re throwing in the towel and yes it hurts. Any of you inclined to pile on, just don’t. The spirit carries on at Grumpy’s NE, and this move gives us the resources to bolster that location; and Grumpy’s Roseville carries on the finest lowbrow comfort-food torch and then some. You’ll see familiar staff faces from downtown at both locations as well.
It’s been a great run, and to all of you who supported us, we can’t thank you enough. We are humbled. And to the pedal pubs, and those assholes from the suburbs that left the occasional one star pissy review on a max capacity game day crowded bar, you folks can still fuck right off.