A crowdfunding campaign is underway to support Minneapolis’ Corner Bar, which was damaged in a fire this past weekend.
Bill Murray, who has owned the West Bank establishment with his wife, Keyla Link, for 17 years, believes the incident was caused by a burst pipe late Friday night.
While flame damage was limited, smoke permeated all three floors, including the comedy club in the basement.
“Everything has to be replaced,” said Murray (no relation to the actor). “The TVs. The sound system. We may even have to replace the ceiling.”
The incident is another blow to the local bar and entertainment scene amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Corner Bar, at 1501 Washington Av. S., has been a popular gathering spot for sports fans — comedian Nick Swardson could often be found there cheering on the Vikings — and up-and-coming comics who appreciated the intimacy of the Comedy Corner Underground club. Comedy Corner owner Bob Edwards, the primary force behind the annual 10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival, had been staging live shows a couple times a week in recent months.
Murray hopes to reopen by February. In the meantime, efforts have begun to raise money for renovation and supporting out-of-work employees. As of Monday afternoon, more than $26,000 had been donated through the Corner Bar Fire Fund on Facebook.
“I’m shocked by the amount of support we’ve gotten and all the personal messages,” said Murray, who recently recovered from a two-year battle with colon cancer. “It gets me emotional.”