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Whiskey Junction To Close; Owners Cite Mpls. Minimum Wage Increase

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The owners of Whiskey Junction are saying Minneapolis' move to increase the minimum wage has led to the bar's closure.

On Wednesday, bar owners Elizabeth Obregón and Tom O'Shea made the announcement on Facebook, saying the bar – after 12 years of them owning the business – will close on December 31.

"Unfortunately, after recent changes in the Minneapolis ordinances regarding minimum wages and primarily the lack of a tip credit provision, we feel now is the time to get out of the bar business," O'Shea wrote.

whiskey junction
(credit: Whiskey Junction via Facebook)

O'Shea says they fought for a voice to explain that "minimum wage without a tip credit will be detrimental to the small bar and restaurant owners of Minneapolis", but that they were not heard.

"Therefore its on to the next adventure!" O'Shea wrote. "I wish to thank our wonderful staff and customers who have been friends and family throughout the years. YOU are what brought us back every day and made working fun! We truly couldn't have done it without you, and we will miss you all."

In late June, following years of debate, the Minneapolis City Council voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. It applies to most employees in the city, even those who earn tips. Companies now get five to seven years to phase in that pay hike.

Whiskey Junction, located at 901 Cedar Avenue, was originally built in 1886 and owned by Grain Belt and Minneapolis Brewing Company's. Live music began at the bar in 1984.

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