The notorious 22nd Ave. Station space in northeast Minneapolis is about to get some new life.

Birk Stefan Grudem and Christina Nguyen, the owners of the ever-packed Hola Arepa in south Minneapolis, bought the former strip club building last week and plan to debut a new restaurant in the fall.

But what that restaurant will be remains a secret.

“We’ve been working on it for a while,” Grudem said. “We know what we’re doing with the space, we know what the concept is going to be — we’re just not fully ready to disclose what that might mean.”

Over the weekend, the duo demoed the 3,200-square foot former strip club space, gutting it to the studs.

“Because we’re obviously not going to open a strip club,” Grudem said.

(So that’s one concept, at least, eliminated.)

 

 

The building (above photo by Elizabeth Flores) also contains a handful of empty apartments on top, which Grudem and Nguyen now own. Those second floor spaces, which they will likely leave as they are, won’t be part of the restaurant concept, Grudem said. They may rent them out in the future, he added. There’s also a large parking lot next to the building that they purchased as part of the deal.

Now, the couple is just waiting for the building permit to move on to the next stage.

“We were hoping for fall of this year, October-ish,” Grudem said of their timeline. “But obviously there are so many variables that can delay projects.”

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