“Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye”

In one of the more unusual Twin Cities restaurant BOGO deals, Uptown Minneapolis’ oldest bar was hosting a special where you received a free spaghetti dinner – served in a one-liter glass – with the purchase of draft beer.

This special ends with the closure of the Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar, which posted a sign on its door, at 2911 Hennepin Av. in Minneapolis: “Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye. Williams is permanently closed.”

Racket MN first reported the closure.

This is the second such announcement from Williams this year. The place temporarily closed in early 2022 after a shooting near the business. But this time, the closure seems final. Williams’ website and social media accounts have been taken down.

Since the 1970s, Williams had been an Uptown staple, a popular spot for regulars and neighborhood locals alike to watch sports on a plate of wings, play pool — and try to avoid stuck-on peanut shells. on the ground.

He had been credited, in the Star Tribune, with kickstarting the neighborhood’s transformation into a nightlife district.

The sprawling two-level space had ample room for multiple concepts. In the 1980s it was home to a comedy club called the Funny Bone and the Barracuda nightclub with a game room and what was billed at the time as the largest dance floor in the Upper Midwest. Comedian Tom Arnold worked as a “bartender/bouncer/whatever” in the 80s.

For a short time in the 90s, the bar had an upstairs nightclub, Chaos, which had a reputation for violence and excessive drunkenness. Williams was remodeled in 1994 and redefined itself as an imported beer bar long before Minnesota’s beer boom, at one point expanding its beer list to 246 labels, 40 of which were on tap. More recently, it was known to attract large groups of post-college crowds.

The area around Hennepin and Lagoon Avenues has been in flux in recent years, with a number of high-profile closures, including Uptown Tavern & Rooftop, which closed in October.

Other recent closures include Hammer & Sickle, the Fremont, Cowboy Slim’s and the Pourhouse Uptown. Not far away on Lake Street, Amore Uptown announced this week that November 20 would be its last day of service.

But there have also been openings, including new businesses at many of these same addresses. Hammer & Sickle became BreakfastKlub and the Fremont is now Fire House Restaurant & Lounge. A concert hall called Green Room takes over the Pourhouse space. Arts and Rec, restaurant and mini-golf room, has just opened in the former libertine space. And Amore Uptown will have new life as a concept owned by Kim Bartmann.

About James K. Bonnette

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