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Jamie Malone's Grand Cafe is closing, building owners say

Head chef Jamie Malone will continue operations at Eastside.
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Grand Cafe

Jamie Malone's Grand Cafe restaurant in south Minneapolis is closing for good, with the acclaimed chef exiting the space at 38th and Grand.

Malone, a four-time James Beard Award nominee, made Grand Cafe one of the top dining spots in the Twin Cities when she opened her first restaurant there in 2017.

Since then, she won national acclaim that included multiple awards, and saw her Paris-Brest chicken liver mousse donut named Food & Wine's Dish of the Year 2018.

On Monday Dan and Mary Hunter, who own the building that houses the Grand Cafe, announced they are now "on the lookout for the next chapter in the story of their nearly century-old building."

Malone, the statement says, will exit the 38th and Grand space having held her last service at Grand Cafe on Nov. 14, but will continue her work at Eastside Restaurant on Washington Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis.

Malone had reimagined the Grand Cafe as an intimate French bistro, inheriting the name of the restaurant from the Hunters, who had run their own version of the Grand Cafe between 2006 and 2017, before leasing the space to Malone.

It remains to be seen whether the Grand Cafe name will live on under its next iteration, with the Hunters looking for "an interim solution that could be a win-win for themselves and the right person or group – keeping the lights on while finding the right tenant or buyer."

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The restaurant industry in Minnesota is currently struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic and with dine-in service currently shut down till Dec. 18 due to Gov. Walz's 4-week shutdown.

"We’ve been happy to be stewards of this special building in such a great neighborhood, and we know that on the other side of this challenging time, there will be yet a new place where people will gather once again," said Mary Hunter. 

"Like many older buildings, this one has both a history and an ongoing story. Those don’t end now; we just don’t yet know what the next iteration will be – this place has such a simple beauty and old-world charm; it’s such a great canvas to work with.”

"It’s always sad to see something end, particularly a place someone has poured their heart and soul into, and we hope people will continue to support Jamie as she continues at Eastside,” says Dan Hunter. He adds,

"We’ve been so grateful to be a part of the Minneapolis restaurant family, what a fantastic tribe of hard-working individuals that support each other. People rally, people care."

You can find a list of notable Twin Cities restaurants that have closed since the start of the pandemic here.

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