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Gophers leaving the Big 10? Nope, it’s the Big 10 that’s closing up shop

The place goes so far back … fans might have watched the Gophers play in the Rose Bowl there.

(If there was a portable black and white TV in the Big Ten Restaurant on New Year’s Day in ’62.)

Six decades is a long time, but in the restaurant business it’s kinda like six eons. In the Stadium Village area of Minneapolis the 61-year run of the Big Ten Restaurant will reach the end of the line in a few weeks.

The watering hole that’s served suds and subs to generations of University of Minnesota students and staff is joining its neighbors that are being demolished to make room for a 27 story apartment tower.

Owners announced the closing on Facebook Friday.

It’s a turnaround from four months ago, when Big 10 co-owner Todd DuPont told the Minnesota Daily the restaurant’s lease was good through 2019 and they had no plans to leave.

What changed? Plans for the new tower have rolled on. The Business Journal says a pair of Illinois-based developers obtained the rights to the two buildings that occupy the 600 block of Washington Ave. and plan to start tearing them down this fall.

Earlier this week the Village Wok broke the news to its customers, too. The sandwich shop Bun Mi and the coffee shop Espresso Expose are also closing, KSTP notes.

The Daily reports the new housing tower will be the tallest building in Stadium Village and says its 450 units will range from studio to four-bedroom apartments.

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