There are more changes on the horizon for the local dining scene as restaurants ponder their next move.
The Purple Onion Cafe and Catering (1301 University Av. SE., Mpls.) has closed.
“It is with great sadness that we announce our permanent closure,” reads the post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve the U of M campus for 30 amazing years. The memories made inside these walls will live on forever.”
When it opened in 1993, what was to become a Dinkytown institution had moved into a neighborhood landmark. The space had been the longtime home of a Bridgeman’s soda fountain, located at the key corner of 14th Avenue and 4th Street SE.
Thirteen years later, the Purple Onion traded those funky-grungy digs (now occupied by two chains, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Qdoba Mexican Eats) for a far roomier and spiffed-up spot in the ground floor of an apartment building. The new quarters included a kitchen, turning the coffeehouse into a cafe.
Espresso Exposé, the Purple Onion’s sibling establishment — across campus in Stadium Village — ended its 25-year run in 2016.
Among the other closings:
Chino Latino: The global street food concept near the corner of Lake and Hennepin for 20 years, Chino Latino (2916 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.) closed Oct. 25. “The decline was in place three to four years ago,” said Phil Roberts, co-founder of Parasole Restaurant Holdings in Edina. “It began gradually and then COVID and the protests and rioting hit.”
Sonder Shaker: After pivoting to meal kits, a takeout window and socially distant indoor dining, Sonder Shaker (130 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls.) is halting its offerings, according to an Oct. 19 Instagram post from the restaurant. Other ventures may be in the works, including bottling the bar’s Old Fashioned.
Rah’mn: The Mac-Groveland ramen spot Rah’mn (300 S. Snelling Av., St. Paul) closed Oct. 13 “due to the challenges of COVID-19,” according to a statement.
Sushi Tango: After pausing business in the summer, Calhoun Square’s Sushi Tango (3001 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.) has closed permanently. Another location, in Woodbury’s Tamarack Village, remains open.
Surly Brewing Co. — the epitome of the phrase “destination beer hall” — is pulling the plug on its enormous southeast Minneapolis entertainment complex. The plan is to close “indefinitely,” with the final day on Nov. 2 (520 Malcolm Av. SE., Mpls.).
Honey & Rye Bakehouse: The North Loop outpost of the St. Louis Park bakery Honey & Rye Bakehouse, in Graze food hall (520 N. 4th St., Mpls.), will close Oct. 31. “There are many contributing factors, not least of all the pandemic and a looming MN winter,” said an announcement on Instagram. “Like many others in the industry, we have experienced a loss of sales that we are unable to overcome.”
Central N.E.: After launching as a new restaurant in mid-July, Central N.E. (700 Central Av. NE., Mpls.) is pressing pause until spring of 2021. Stay tuned for sandwiches, burgers and small plates to return, inside a former furniture warehouse from 1897.
Dark Horse Bar & Eatery: Lowertown St. Paul’s Dark Horse Bar & Eatery (250 E. 7th St., St. Paul) is closing for winter on Oct. 31 with plans to reopen in spring. “We are choosing hibernation to prevent extinction,” says a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “This is not goodbye, but until we see each other again.”
Staff writer John Ewoldt contributed to this report.