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Farmers markets in Minneapolis, St. Paul closed for weekend following protests, violence

Several farmers markets in Minneapolis and St. Paul have cancelled their weekend markets.

The Midtown Farmers Market, which is currently operating in temporary quarters on Minnehaha Avenue (outside Moon Palace Books), has cancelled its Saturday market.

"With a heavy heart we have decided that we will not be having our market as scheduled this Saturday, May 30th, 2020," reads a message on the market's Facebook page. "The decision was made by our executive director and our market team. With the current state of events happening in South Minneapolis, and particularly the Hi-Lake area that is home to our market, it is best to put the safety of our vendors, staff and customers first. This situation is still unfolding, and we cannot predict that will happen next. This unpredictability is what lead us to make this incredibly difficult choice. We are currently working on a temporary location (as soon as Tuesday, June 2nd) to still provide access to a great market experience amidst these times. We hope to still create solutions for our neighborhood."

The Minneapolis Farmers Market has cancelled its Saturday and Sunday markets, and will reopen Monday morning.

"As the largest farmer-managed market in the state of Minnesota, we have made a collective decision to close the Minneapolis Farmers Market this weekend," reads a message on the market's website. "Our focus will remain on feeding the soul of our community by providing a safe environment to sell and shop for locally grown produce and products. We are heartbroken by the death of Mr. George Floyd and have deep compassion for the City of Minneapolis along with the community we serve."

Also in Minneapolis, the Mill City Farmers Market has cancelled its Saturday market. 

"We understand the market’s position as a place to come together as a community and are sad to be unable to fulfill this role at this time," reads a post on the market's Facebook page. "Our hearts are full of grief, anger and so many more emotions as we continue to stand in solidarity with the Black community and continue to demand justice for George Floyd."

In south Minneapolis, the markets operated by Neighborhood Roots -- the Fulton Farmers Market on Saturday, and the Kingfield Farmers Market on Sunday -- have been cancelled. And in Northeast Minneapolis, the Northeast Farmers Market has cancelled its Saturday market. 

The St. Paul Farmers Market has cancelled its Lowertown market on Saturday and Sunday. The market's suburban outposts are scheduled to operate next week, including Roseville (Tuesday morning), Andover (Tuesday afternoon), Maplewood (Wednesday morning) and Burnsville (Thursday afternoon).

"During this difficult time, we continue our commitment to the safety and well-being of our community, growers, customers and staff," said Market Director David Kotsonas in a statement. "We believe this is the right thing to do."

Pazzaluna restaurant closes after a 21-year run in downtown St. Paul


Pazzaluna, the 21-year-old Italian restaurant in downtown St. Paul, has permanently closed.

The restaurant, owned by Morrissey Hospitality, has been dark since March 17, when Gov. Tim Walz ordered all restaurant dining rooms temporarily closed to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

“Irrespective of when restrictions are lifted, we are not confident in the immediate return of customers who are worried about their health and family members,” said Morrissey president Richard Dobransky in a statement. “Pazzaluna was created for our customers to enjoy each other’s company in a sharing, vibrant atmosphere."

The official closing date is May 31. The restaurant would have marked its 22nd birthday on Oct. 27.

Pazzaluna is Italian for “crazy moon,” which was “A fitting name for an intensely romantic restaurant,” wrote Star Tribune restaurant critic Jeremy Iggers in his Nov. 20, 1998 review. “With its intimate lighting, dark woods, tall cement columns and high ceilings, it creates an aura of sophistication that makes it feel a million miles from St. Paul.”

Pazzaluna was the fun-loving Italian sibling to its more buttoned-up neighbor, the St. Paul Grill, another Morrissey property. The restaurant, a popular pre-Ordway Center for the Performing Arts destination, was tricked out in all the trendiest late-1990s dining-out features, including a showy open kitchen with up-close-and-personal counter seating, a chef’s table and walls covered in big, colorful murals. The 175-seat dining room also included a bar and a private dining area.

The restaurant resided in the historic Lowry Medical Arts Building (360 St. Peter St.), in the space that had been the longtime home of Frank Murphy, a high-end women’s clothing store.

In that same statement, Morrissey management noted that the company “Is reimagining new possibilities for the location and investigating new opportunities for the Pazzaluna brand in the future and in new locations.”

Customers with Pazzaluna gift cards can receive a refund by emailing, or by redeeming them at any Morrissey restaurant, which includes the St. Paul Grill and M Street Cafe in the St. Paul Hotel, Tria in North Oaks, Kendall’s Tavern & Chophouse in Coon Rapids and the Brookside Bar & Grill in Marine on St. Croix.

A second major Twin Cities closing was announced on Saturday: Vivo Kitchen in Apple Valley will be permanently closing on May 23.

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