Uptown restaurant closes, but will reopen as an arcade and games bar

Bad news for fans of the Libertine.

Arcade and games bars are trendy right now, and Uptown in Minneapolis is about to get another one.

After less than three years on Hennepin Avenue, restaurant and cocktail bar Libertine closed its doors on Sunday.

The announcement was made via a sign on its doors that was later posted on Facebook, informing diners that though it was closed, it won't be for long.

On Wednesday, it will re-open under the same name, but with a new concept of an arcade and games bar where visitors can "come for the games ... stay for the snacks and cocktails."

A spokesman for owner Parasole told GoMN: "The name won’t change but we’re turning it more into a neighborhood bar. The menu is trending more towards bar food (really good bar food) & cocktails.

"In general, Uptown has become more bar & outdoor patio oriented. We’re adding ping pong tables, foosball, pinball etc. with the philosophy that Libertine is becoming Uptown’s Rec Room – come for the games & stay for snacks and cocktails.

The new Libertine will be hoping to replicate runaway success enjoyed by nearby Lyn-Lake arcade bar Up-Down, which opened its doors to gamers and drinkers last summer with a selection of 50 arcade games from the '80s and '90s, pinball machines and skee ball.

It was reported last week that Up-Down is looking to capitalize on its popularity by expanding with a rooftop patio area, with more games and a life-sized Jenga, according to the Business Journal.

The revamp of Libertine is the second big change to its restaurant portfolio is in as many weeks for Parosole, which shut down its pizza joint Mozza Mia at 50th and France in Edina.

A statement from Parasole at the time said the decision was taken because "the current operating environment doesn't favor restaurants."

Libertine opened in spring 2014 as a concept designed by acclaimed Twin Cities chef Tim McKee, formerly of La Belle Vie.

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