After 10 years in St. Paul's Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood, Strip Club Meat & Fish will shutter its doors this summer.

Restaurateur Tim Niver (below) said he made the decision as the eatery’s lease comes to a close, and he and the other owners considered the change of the past decade and the uncertainty of the future.

The Strip Club’s final day of service will be July 1, with some options reserved for potential private events through the end of that month.

“We’re invested and passionate and it’s still really [darn] good,” said Niver, who also owns Saint Dinette and Mucci’s Italian in St. Paul. “It’s still relevant, the players are all still there, everything is intact. But while I think we could have kept going in the short term, the long term looks a long way out.

“So we made an unemotional business decision that has emotional ramifications for us.”

In 2007, the Strip Club opened in a former general store that dates back to 1885. Niver and chef J.D. Fratzke (bottom photo) made their reputation at the restaurant with meaty cuts and classic but creative dishes, along with an elevated cocktail program. Since then, the duo has seen restaurants come and go – including a few of their own – and watched distilleries and other bars steer cocktailing into the future.

“What we’ve seen in our nine and a half years in the industry is amazing,” Niver said. “Things have changed dramatically. The restaurant world is different now.

“I’m not saying it’s bleak. It’s not. But being able to write the end of your own story is really good.”

Niver said after considering the last year’s final tallies, the ownership came to a consensus last week. They informed the staff of the impending closing on Monday.

Fratzke also is a co-owner of Saint Dinette and has his hands in Red River Kitchen in St. Paul as well.

Niver likely will have a few other tricks up his sleeve in the near future. He’s currently working on launching a frozen pizza company based off of Mucci’s products, he said. He also has been shopping for a potential new restaurant location in Minneapolis, although he said he hasn’t yet found the perfect spot.

(Photos by Star Tribune staff) 

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