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Ribs no more: Famous Dave's to disappear from Mall of America (very) soon

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A slight change on the menu at the Mall of America, where two long-time restaurants are closing for good.

The mall says Famous Dave's and Kokomo Island Cafe will soon vacate, though the owner of the two spots tells the Star Tribune it's not a done deal and "negotiations" are still underway.

The paper, however, says mall officials are insisting new restaurants are on the way.

This comes after the mall confirmed to retail blogger Ali Kaplan this week that the two dining sports would be closing. That confirmation doesn't leave much time for shoppers to enjoy one last plate of ribs, or a tropical-themed sandwich; Kaplan says a new leaseholder will take possession of both sites on March 1.

When the blogger tried to make a reservation, a Famous Dave's host told her the restaurant (and neighboring Kokomo Island) would likely be closed "before the weekend."

There's no word yet on who's replacing them, but the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reports one of the two new restaurants is "new to the area," and both will open by summer.

While the Minnesota-based Famous Dave's chain has seen its share of troubles recently, perhaps ribs and the island-themed treats served next-door don't fit the megamall's new vision of itself. According to a report from the Business Journal last year, the shopping destination is in the midst of a $325 million expansion, which includes plans to "spice up" its dining experience.

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