The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is reporting that the owners of Nye’s Polonaise, a Northeast Minneapolis landmark that’s become one of Minnesota’s best-known bars among connoisseurs across the country, have told employees they plan to close the bar and restaurant in the summer or early fall of 2015.
“We have made the decision to close Nye’s after careful consideration,” the Business Journal quotes co-owner Rob Jacob as saying. “In recent years, business has fallen off and it’s been difficult for us to stay competitive.” Jacob and his brother, co-owner Tony Jacob, said they wanted to give employees plenty of advance notice out of consideration for their service. The establishment, opened in 1950 by Al Nye, has been owned by the Jacob brothers since 1999.
Rob Jacob told the Star Tribune that the business has been struggling for years, and denied that the decision to close the bar was due to outside pressure by developers. He said he and his brother couldn’t think of a way to preserve Nye’s without making dramatic changes, and they didn’t want to do that. “For us to change anything, it wouldn’t have been Nye’s.”
Update 12/2: The Business Journal is now reporting that the Jacob brothers have entered into a joint venture with developer Schafer Richardson. According to developer Brad Schafer, the partners are actively considering plans to raze Nye’s and build a high-rise apartment complex.
In addition to the retro decor that helped earn Nye’s the distinction of “Best Bar in America” according to Esquire, Nye’s is beloved as a music venue—notably for traditional music by the likes of the late Ruth Adams and the World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band, but also for regular gigs by artists like New Primitives, Molly Maher, and many others.