Northeast Minneapolis next door neighbors Keegan’s Irish Pub and the Red’s Savoy Pizza on University Ave. NE are the latest coronavirus closures in the Twin Cities restaurant world. The businesses both permanently closed at the end of the workday on June 30.
“It’s a very sad time to close because it’s something that I have no control over,” said Keegan’s owner Marty Neumann.
Keegan’s had already been closed for three months. Neumann said the situation with their landlord was “challenging,” and noted that “a lot of things with the rent changed very quickly,” especially with the rise of property taxes. “Then COVID came and put us in a bad situation” he said.
Red’s Savoy Pizza Minneapolis Northeast, which has the same landlord, has been in its current location since 2017, according to an employee who declined to be identified. It was able to reopen at partial capacity following the governor’s loosened restrictions announced June 10.
The Minnesota franchise has 17 other locations.
The end of Keegan’s hits close to home for Neumann, who has worked there since day one, 18 years ago alongside original owners Terry and Virginia Keegan. Neumann bought the business from them five years ago. He decided to close permanently on June 30 because the next day, the bar’s liquor license was set to end. July 1 is also the date that the new minimum wage of $11.75 for small businesses and $13.25 for large businesses goes into effect.
“I have people I used to work with driving 250 miles here just to say hi,” said Neumann. “I have thousands of employees that have worked here over the time and made it the place it is today.”
Keegan’s and Red’s Savoy are among the many businesses struggling to stay afloat through the pandemic .
“It’s just a very tough time for a lot of restaurants and small businesses,” said Neumann.