Restaurateur behind Butcher and the Boar, 4 Bells dies

The bartender turned real estate developer was also a founder of Barrio and Bar La Grassa.
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The Twin Cities culinary world is mourning the death of the entrepreneur behind two acclaimed Minneapolis restaurants.

Tim Rooney, of Butcher and the Boar and 4 Bells, died this week, according to Mpls.St. Paul Magazine writer Stephanie March, who knew him personally and was informed of his death on Wednesday night.

Starting as a server at Manny's Steakhouse, Rooney turned his hand to real estate development and helped bring Le Meridien Chambers Hotel to the city, March writes, who described him as a "model of what can be achieved as a restaurant worker" who knew the restaurant business "in his soul."

His death was confirmed to WCCO's Jason DeRusha by chef Jack Riebel, Rooney's former partner at the Butcher and the Boar.

The Star Tribune reports he was also a founder of Barrio restaurants and Bar La Grassa.

Along with Doug Van Winkle, Rooney bought the building at 1121 Hennepin Ave. S., the Business Journal reports, which in 2012 became home to Butcher and the Boar. They sold the building last year for $6 million, more than four times what they paid for it.

And in 2015 the pair turned their attention to the Loring Park area, opening the 400-seat 4 Bells restaurant, the website notes.

He is remembered fondly by those who worked with him, including Shawn Tierney, who told CityPages: "He was just one of those guys that, when you looked at him, you knew there was going to be shenanigans. He had that Irish humor."

Ben Quam, former manager of The Exchange nightclub, told CityPages Rooney changed the landscape of Twin Cities restaurants with his vision of "precision meets utter lack of pretension."

No details have been released about how he died.

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