Two weeks after announcing the temporary closure of its downtown Minneapolis location, Ike's Food & Cocktails has shut its doors permanently.
Citing failed lease negotiations with the building owner, Ike's proprietor Gene Winstead said he's disappointed they could not agree on a new rental arrangement after "extensive" talks that began in July. According to court records, the owners of 50 South Sixth Street served the restaurant with an eviction summons on January 10.
"We've been there 18 years. We've been part of the Minneapolis scene. But we were a small restaurant with a high overhead," he said. "It's tough."
According to Winstead, the negotiations were meant to "address restaurant and market conditions" impacting Ike's bottom line, including "labor costs, operational costs, maintenance costs and taxes."
"There are so many issues, not any one of them a restaurant killer on its own, but taken altogether it adds up," Winstead said. He also cited a perception of downtown Minneapolis as unsafe for evening diners. "There is a little truth to it, but it's mostly perception," he said.
When Ike's closed at the beginning of the year, the announcement came via Facebook, with a promise that the restaurant would reopen in February. In an interview, Winstead listed a number of necessary renovations that predicated its reopening: plumbing updates, fresh paint, new furniture and a new HVAC system.
At the same time, the restaurant owner is preparing to break ground on another location, this one in the South Loop neighborhood of Bloomington. The new restaurant will be more than double the space of the downtown location and is expected to open at 8001 28th Av. S. this summer.
In addition to the new location, Ike's operates an outfit in Minnetonka and at the France Av. and I-494 junction in Bloomington. As for the former Ike's location in downtown Minneapolis, Winstead doesn't know if it will continue to operate as a restaurant or be converted to a new use.
"You're seeing some pretty good restaurant operators falling by the wayside," he said. "Get good guest counts at lunch and people think you're really making it, but it's a tough business these days."
The building is owned by Mapletree, a real estate development and property management company headquartered in Singapore, and managed by Newmark Knight Frank headquartered in New York City. Neither company could be reached for comment.