Local Current Blog

Hexagon Bar burns as Twin Cities roil with rage and pain

The Hexagon Bar on May 29, 2020. (Nate Ryan/MPR)

The Hexagon Bar, a Minneapolis music and nightlife landmark since 1934, erupted in flames overnight as Minneapolis and St. Paul were roiled by ongoing unrest in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Social media posts this morning show that the venue became engulfed in flames between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m., and stands this morning as an empty shell. The bar was just one casualty of violence that centered on the Minneapolis Third Precinct police station, which was evacuated late last night and also subsequently burned.

In the ’50s, the Hexagon Bar — named for its six-sided wooden bar — was a working-class hangout where truck drivers would belly up to listen to “oom-pah” music after making deliveries at nearby Seward warehouses. In recent years, it’s booked a range of independent bands from pop rock to metal.

Update: Tim Nelson of Minnesota Public Radio News spoke with The Current’s Jill Riley, live from in front of the venue shortly after 9:00 a.m. “There is no roof,” he said. “The floor is falling into the basement. There’s still flames burning in the coolers that have fallen down onto the bar. All the brick is collapsed on the inside. There’s no question: they’re not going to be able to do anything but knock this down when the flames eventually go out.”

Below, listen to the report.

Other local music venues affected by the violence include the Turf Club, which was broken into and damaged. The Hook & Ladder, near the center of the unrest, is boarded up but still standing.

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