The Inn has checked out.

“We made a difficult decision today,” said co-owner Tim Niver. “Everybody there is so awesome. We were all just really starting to click, but we just weren’t as busy as we needed to be to support the dream.”

The restaurant opened late last fall in the historic Handicraft Building, the downtown Minneapolis cousin to the Strip Club in St. Paul. Niver said that the decision to pull the plug is not rooted in geography, or the 10th-and-Marquette location’s lack thereof, at least when it comes to the fickle world of restaurant real estate.

“I don’t want to believe that,” he said. “How long was Le Peep in that location? How long was Hell’s Kitchen in that location? Finally, the space had something that captivated its spirit.”

Agreed. I was totally charmed by the Inn’s warm and rugged setting, and chef Tyge Nelson impressed me with his menu, an original and highly appealing array of meticulously prepared gastropub-inspired dishes. The bar was similarly blessed with creative talent.

“That’s the worst part, the people who work there,” said Niver. “Of course they can go on and do other things, and I'm sure they will, but they put so much into the restaurant. Tyge was executing so well. We looked at each other a lot and said, ‘What are we doing wrong?’ because we already knew what we felt we were doing right.”

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