Nye's spot likely to become high-rise apartment building

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The legendary Nye's Polonaise Room in northeast Minneapolis may be replaced by a high-rise apartment building after it closes sometime next year.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports Tuesday that the owners of the bar and restaurant have entered into a partnership with a local developer to refurbish the site, which sits on a prime piece of real estate on East Hennepin Avenue.

It was just a day ago that Nye's owners, Tony and Rob Jacob, announced their plans to close the 65-year-old restaurant in late summer or early fall of next year.

They said the business has struggled financially for the past six years or so, and they wanted to give their 35 employees – as well as their longtime patrons – plenty of notice.

The Jacob brothers did not disclose the development plans Monday, and could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

But Brad Schafer confirmed with the Business Journal that his firm, Schafer Richardson, will work with the Jacob brothers on redeveloping the site into a mixed-use apartment building, possibly with retail on the street level.

Schafer said the plans are still in progress, but "it’ll be concrete and steel, 10 or 20 or 30 stories,” according to the Star Tribune.

Schafer said it's not likely the existing Nye's buildings can be incorporated into the new development, but the design of the project could reflect the legacy of the restaurant, the Star Tribune reports.

Nye's location is part of the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District, so the development plans will be reviewed by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission before the city acts on the project.

Northeast Minneapolis is experiencing a bit of a renaissance lately, according to the Star Tribune, with at least 800 apartments under construction right now, and another 800 more in the planning stages.

But some longtime Minneapolitans are still mourning the loss of Nye's and its quirky character.

One of them is local food critic Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, whose commentary on the subject aired on MPR News Tuesday.

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