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It's not just Market Bar-B-Que: Salsa a la Salsa, others might get bumped for redevelopment

Isaac Hale, Star Tribune

Isaac Hale, Star Tribune

On Tuesday, after we reported Market Bar-B-Que will move due to redevelopment, a few readers pointed out that other businesses along the 1400 block of Nicollet Avenue might have to find new digs, too.

Astutely observed -- and 100 percent correct. 

Reuter Walton Development plans to build a 239-unit apartment building on the downtown Minneapolis-adjacent space that currently houses Market Bar-B-Que, along with Salsa a la Salsa, Ryan's Pub, Asian Taste, and Upper Cuts Barbershop, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. The six-story project would have 10,000 square feet for retail space, and it appears Reuter Walton hopes said square footage will eventually be re-occupied by the current tenants.

"I can’t speak on behalf of the other businesses … but they've invited us to come back in like a year or two years that it’s going to take to do this, to have a satellite, smaller restaurant," Market Bar-B-Que's Anthony Polski tells us. It's a proposal he says they’re considering: "We’ve been here for a very long time and obviously built in some muscle memory with customers, so we’re definitely willing to … it seems like it could be a good fit. It’s my job to carry on my family’s 72-year tradition."

But while the Reuter Walton team told the Business Journal that another family-owned business -- Salsa a la Salsa -- wants to return to the space post-development, Salsa owner Lorenzo Ariza tells City Pages that things are far from set in stone. 

"On my side, my answer was, ‘Well, I would like to have a proposal with the numbers,'" Ariza says. "What is it going to take for us to come again after a year and a half? It’s a challenge. They haven’t been able to give us any number, so we don’t know. We don’t know what’s going to happen."

(For what it's worth, Nicollet Diner and Muffin Top Cafe -- the sibling restaurants situated on that same block right next to Upper Cuts -- wouldn't go anywhere. "We're diamonds in the rough over there," diner-slash-cafe co-owner Sam Turner says. "We're owned by a family that's owned our building forever, and we have a long-term partnership -- both sides' goal is for Nicollet Diner to be there for a long time.")

It sounds like that's the goal for Reuter Walton, too, along with at least a few of their other tenants. In addition to the optimistic inclination from Market Bar-B-Que, co-founder Nick Walton tells the Strib that they have a meeting scheduled next week with Ryan's Pub.

Still, Salsa a la Salsa's Ariza isn't so sure.

"We feel part of the neighborhood, and we’re very welcome here. We want to stay here," Ariza says. "But the way things are, I don’t know ... At the end, we have the other restaurant at the Global Market, and we might just downsize our operations."

He thinks they'd be okay -- they do a lot of catering, and the MGM outpost gets great traffic.

"But of course, I would like to have another place, or keep this one," he adds. "It's our life. It's our retirement money."