The kitchen of The Strip Club in St. Paul
The Strip Club
Tim Niver has just announced that The Strip Club Meat & Fish will be closing their doors as of July. Their lease is up, and they've decided that the last day of formal service will be July 1st.
"You know, we've known the lease was ending and we thought about it for a long time, what we could do, how we could negotiate, what terms might work," Niver told me, "but in the end we didn't really know what five more years on the hill would look like for us, so we decided to go out gracefully, ahead of the market. We got to make the choice, and while it doesn't take away the sadness part of it, it's nice to feel that we made it for ourselves."
The Strip Club opened in January of 2008, just before the recession really hit. Niver, JD Fratzke and former partner Aaron Johnson took an old corner store from 1885 on the cusp of Swede Hollow and made it into a cheekily named meat haunt serving (then) revolutionary grass-fed beef and creative craft cocktails. Just nine years ago, and so much has changed in the cities.
"Maybe someone else can come in here and do something different and new and start the roll all over again, but we wanted to give people time to say good-bye." Both Fratzke and Niver are really busy with other projects right now, and they each have new things coming up that should also add mightily to the dining scene. There's no stopping either of them, really, so mark this as only one ending.
The last night of service will be Saturday, July 1st. Because they hold the lease until the end of the month, they're planning to do some pop-ups and events in the space before the lights go dark. And in order to keep things simple, they will be ending brunch service on February 12, and shortening hours starting that week, opening from 5-10pm on Tu-Sa. Mother's Day and Easter will be special brunches they intend to open for.
So there it is, another iconic restaurant that has spurred other lives and ventures in this eating landscape will be no more. I can't imagine that the place won't be packed with revelers from now until then, so plan to party. Go for one last hangover burger at brunch and cheers with a Kobra Kai.
In the meantime, maybe re-watch this Day In The Life of a Twin Cities Restaurant video we did a few years ago and catch a glimpse of fleeting kitchen, or three.