It wasn’t all gloom and doom for the restaurants that closed their doors this year.
Some of them defied the odds to make a comeback, giving fans of their pizzas, burgers, dumplings and soups a reason to rejoice.
Take the 80-year-old burger dive Sandy’s Tavern: It would have been a tragedy for Richfield had new management shut the place down for good. Instead a temporary closing allowed for a refresh of the space, which reopened in November. Lucky Cricket unexpectedly closed in July for what was supposed to be a two-week remodeling. It remained closed for two months, and instead of a new look, it came back with a newish menu.
Jun, the North Loop’s Szechuan spot, closed for nearly a year after a sprinkler malfunction flooded the place; it came back in September. If you think that was a long time to wait, try two years. Eddington’s, the popular soup spot, disappeared from the skyway in 2017; as of November 2019, it was slinging soup once again, in the Northstar Center.
Some comebacks were as much about the space as the concept. Uptown bagelry and deli Meyvn closed in the spring; by summer, its owners brought in a Minneapolis version of Meyvn’s St. Paul sister restaurant, Mucci’s, that appears to be going strong. Revolution Hall, a new kind of food court, lasted only eight months at Rosedale Center; by November it was the more locally minded Potluck. And pizzeria Delicata’s owners took a new tack, turning it into Foxtrot Burger Spot.
Some comebacks were the bright side to a troubled situation. Market Bar-B-Que took the leap from downtown to northeast Minneapolis after its original building was torn down for development. Just/Us Restaurant reopened a few blocks from the original downtown location, in Lowertown St. Paul; it had closed due to disputes with its landlord.
Expansion for thriving businesses also played a role: Pig Ate My Pizza moved down the street to the larger former Travail in downtown Robbinsdale — and added a brewery. Cajun Twist left the counter at Theodore Wirth Park Trailhead to take over the former Marla’s Caribbean Cuisine space.