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Common Roots Cafe, which has plied its trade on south Minneapolis' Lyndale Avenue for the past 15 years, has closed.

The announcement was made Wednesday evening by owner Danny Schwartzman and was effective immediately, with Schwartzman writing: "Common Roots has served our last meal – I'm sorry to say I've decided to close down the business."

After paying tribute to staff, suppliers, and the "exceptional cast of characters" that make up the business' customer base, Schwartzman addresses the reason for closing.

He says that the business ends 2022 "with a large financial loss," that it had only recovered about half its pre-COVID business, and that even before the pandemic "we regularly had many years that financially were a failure." 

Then, he says he was informed that the majority of his staff intended to unionize, and that while "he would have loved being able to run a union business," he added: "I couldn’t commit to moving forward if I didn’t have confidence I would be able to keep the business open under all the very many different strains the business is under."

"I really wanted to move forward and find a way to say yes, we can do this and add another positive component to how our business operates, but this big step forced me to take a fresh look at the overall state of the business," he wrote.

Schwartzman says unused gift cards can be redeemed for organic dry goods and spices the business sells, but cash refunds will also be offered.

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