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Three different Uptown bars, restaurants to close in two-week span

3 different Uptown restuarants closing doors
3 different Uptown restuarants closing doors 02:18

MINNEAPOLIS -- For a long time at Amore Uptown, it's been a blend of food, drinks, and memories. But Sunday that ends, for now.

"It'll just be a brief pause," said owner and general manager Tim McHugh. "For a quick refresh, and a new name, a new menu. But it's still gonna be the neighborhood Italian place on the corner like it's been for almost 30 years."

Just a few blocks away, Williams Pub and Peanut Bar posted a sign saying, "Sadly, we must say goodbye. Williams is permanently closed." 

This abruptly ends a decades-long run for Williams in Uptown. Next Saturday, they will be joined by Uptown landmark, Stella's Fish Café, which has been open since 2005.

"It was really sad. I don't make it out here very often. But I have fond memories of the place. So we decided to grab lunch out here, one last time," said Meghan Flynn, who lives in Oakdale.

Neither Williams nor Stella's responded to our interview requests. In September, Stella's voluntarily closed briefly for a health department emergency pest management visit which found signs of mice.

"I feel like people aren't in Uptown as much anymore," said Kelsey Heiland, a Minneapolis resident eating lunch at Stella's. "So probably not as busy as they used to be."

"Part of it breaks my heart. It's sad that we've lost so many entrepreneurial small businesses," said McHugh. "Through no fault of any of the businesses. Just the environment that we've had to live in: COVID, multiple shutdowns, safety and security concerns, the death of George Floyd."

McHugh is selling with a different outlook. The plan is to re-open as soon as possible under new ownership, with some changes.

"If we've learned anything over the last three years, being open-minded and willing to change and adapt and pivot, that's what's allowed a lot of us to survive," McHugh said.

Though many businesses are closing in Uptown, some have recently arrived.

"I have no doubt that things will probably end up being better than they ever were before, at the end of the day," said McHugh.

Optimistic for the future.

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