Photo by Katherine Harris
Here’s a weird one. You know that building on Loring Park that's been churning through restaurants lately, including the Café Maude, and Nick and Eddie? How much do you care about that building’s alley side door? Because that door looks to be the thing keeping Kim Bartmann—Café Barbette, the Red Stag, Bryant Lake Bowl, etc.—from putting in a new Kim Bartmann restaurant on Loring Park. I know, it’s weird. Here’s some information regarding the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission’s decision.
I called up Kim Bartmann to find out what she had to say about it, and interrupted her as she was volunteering at an Earth Day clean up of a local organic farm. (I know, I know, but you can’t make this stuff up.) She did not want to talk about it. “All I can say is, I’m exploring the potential of doing a project there,” Bartmann said. “I have the space secured, and I’m going to an HPC hearing next Tuesday, which will determine whether the project goes ahead. I want to replace the door with a door that looks just like it but is insulated. Kevin [Sheehy, Café Maude owner] couldn’t get that space above 66 degrees last winter. You can’t have a restaurant in Minnesota that’s not insulated.”
Then we talked about projects she had to walk away from before, notably Uptown’s Suburban World Theater (which finally sold last month for $750,000 to a Florida real estate development group.)
“I was trying to keep this on the down low,” Bartmann told me. “I’ve been talking to the press about Tiny Diner for 3 years now—and we’re finally going to open next month. I didn’t want to put the cart before the horse.”
But I did!
So we’re off.
What do you think, Minneapolis? How much do you care about the back door of the old Café Maude? Enough to let the restaurant sit empty?
Also, here's the latest in BartMAN news (from Drew Wood):