The news that Twin Cities nightlife mavens have been dreading for months arrived Friday afternoon: Nye’s Polonaise Room has announced its firm closing date, April 3.
Originally slated to close last summer, the popular post-World War II supper club in northeast Minneapolis got a temporary reprieve from the wrecking ball as plans to replace it with a 29-story apartment tower were scaled back to a six-story building after neighborhood groups and the Heritage Preservation Commission got involved.
Friday afternoon, the Minneapolis City Council approved an appeal for two design elements flagged by the preservation commission. That appeal still needs to be signed by the mayor, but Nye’s operators are calling it a day in the meantime.
“It’s been nice to have these extra months for us and our patrons to say goodbye to the place,” co-owner Rob Jacob said, “but it hasn’t gotten any easier in that time. It’s still very emotional for all of us.”
Rob and his brother, Tony, are the longtime owners of the 1950s-era restaurant and bar with the vinyl gold-flecked booths, piano bar and lively polka room. He said they “really had no choice” in redeveloping the property, since the downside to its charming retro qualities is its outdated infrastructure.
“The place is simply falling apart,” Rob Jacob said.
The Jacobs’ and developer Schafer Richardson’s new plan is to incorporate the two historic Nye’s buildings into the new building. The third one-story building, which now links the two, will be replaced with a new structure. The project will have retail space on the main levels and more than 70 apartments above.
Next, the developer will submit a land-use application later this month. Katie Anthony, project manager for Schafer Richardson, said construction is expected to begin in late spring or early summer with completion by the summer of 2017.
Nye’s lovers at least have another 2½ months to enjoy the place. Terry Walsh, whose band the St. Dominic's Trio plays every Tuesday in the polka room, said, “The long goodbye has been nice. It’ll be a sad day when it finally comes, but you can’t fault the Jacobs for having to do this.”