Cause Spirits & Soundbar, the Lyn-Lake rock club and brunch joint that picked up where the long-loved Uptown Bar left off, is closing. And it's apparently not by choice.
Cause booker Noah Paster sent an e-mail to the club's contacts on Thursday that said the final day of business will be July 12. The south Minneapolis venue already had its fifth-anniversary celebration lined up for July 10-12, dates that now will serve as a farewell blowout.
The club and eatery is losing its lease, but the reasons remain unclear. The venue sits on the corner of Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue S., a prime retail and restaurant spot.
"It's not for financial reasons, because we had a really tremendous year in 2014," said Paster, who declined to comment further. "Legally, we can't give any answers."
Cause owner Mike Riehle could not be reached for comment. He reportedly has not discussed the possibility of reopening the club elsewhere.
Forced to change its name shortly after opening in 2009 as Sauce — a pizza chain claimed the trademark, so "Cause" was an easy switch (just swapping two letters on the club's signage) — the venue became a mainstay for local rock, rap, electronic and none-of-the-above musicians, who usually played for a $5 cover and often lived nearby. As Paster noted, "It's where everybody went who didn't want to go to the newer, trendier bars around here."
Two Harbors frontman Chris Pavlich said his band's album-release party there last month was a reminder of the cozy vibe and reliable sound system that made the place "a home for a lot of us after the Uptown Bar closed" in 2009.
"It's really too bad for the people who work there, because they all did a really great job and now they're suddenly out of a job," Pavlich said. "There won't be a lot of reasons to go to Uptown anymore."
Working the bar on Thursday afternoon, longtime bartender Larry Romanowicz — himself a former Uptown Bar employee — said the staff and regular patrons there were as somber as they were stunned.
"Business has been better than ever, and now suddenly we're being forced out?" he marveled.
The lineup for the July 10-12 farewell will include club regulars such as BNLX, Enemy Planes, Gay Witch Abortion, Phillip Morris, Rapper Hooks, Buildings and more. See details at Cause's Facebook page.