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Motorsports bar closing to make way for new Hy-Vee

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The American Motorsports Bar and Grill in Cottage Grove is closing at the end of this month, the South Washington County Bulletin reports.

The owner of the "car bar," as the paper describes it, said he has "mixed emotions" and isn't sure when the bar's official last day will be. But he also said he doesn't plan to reopen elsewhere.

The restaurant has solid, though not spectacular, reviews on both TripAdvisor and Yelp. It labeled itself a casual spot for traditional American fare.

And why is it closing? Groceries.

Specifically the grocery store chain Hy-Vee, which is planning a move into the Gateway North retail district, KSTP reported this fall.

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The Iowa-based, employee-owned grocer plans to move in to the area with its usual 90,000-square-foot store, including restaurants, a liquor store, a pharmacy and more.

The Cottage Grove location features a shuttered Rainbow Foods on the southwest end, and a closed Home Depot to the northeast – American Motorsports Bar and Grill is nestled between (see the map to the right).

Hy-Vee has purchased the old Rainbow Foods property as well as the car bar and another vacant storefront. Hy-Vee will demolish the buildings and construct its new grocery store from the ground up.

City leaders are working with a new property owner to redevelop the old Home Depot site, which has been vacant for several years.

Hy-Vee debuted in the Twin Cities in mid-October – though there were already 17 dotted across cities in southern Minnesota, including four locations in Rochester and a couple in Mankato. Click here to see the full list.

Stretching into the Twin Cities is part of the brand’s plan for “aggressive growth,” as the Star Tribune put it this summer, noting it faces a tough battle to unseat the local leader Cub Foods.

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