Local Current Blog

West Bank pub Acadia goes up for sale

A photo of Acadia's exterior from the pub's website.

The owners of Acadia, a restaurant/music venue in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, have announced their intent to “move on” and sell their business. The West Bank pub has had a bumpy 2020, temporarily closing several times due to COVID-19; the Minneapolis Uprising; and, in late June, a combination of construction and broken air conditioning. Now, owners Juliana Bryarly and Ted Lowell are giving it up for good.

On Sept. 8, Bryarly and Lowell sought Acadia buyers on Facebook, writing, “…we hold an exceptional transferable lease with fabulous landlords. If you’d like to have a proven space that can survive the current food service catastrophe and have the time to get your feet on the ground (low overhead and long term financing), this one’s priced to sell. Please DM us.” Bryarly and Lowell did not respond immediately for comment.

With help from business partner Jeff Werthmann-Radnich, Bryarly and Lowell have run the Acadia since 2002. First, Acadia Cafe opened at 1931 Nicollet Avenue (now home to Cajun Boiling). In 2008, Acadia moved to its current home, 329 Cedar Avenue S., which hosted the New Riverside Cafe from 1971-1997 and several bars/clubs before that.

Acadia is known for its alley patio and a colorful, well-worn interior with a gorgeous wood bar. The pub hosted live music in both locations, giving bands and karaoke singers an opportunity to perform to about 75 people in the latter spot. Acadia’s passion for craft beer predates the current microbrewery trend, which means they get full bragging rights, although their range of 30 taps might seem less impressive now than it may have 10 years ago. They offered wifi and coffee, too, drawing University of Minnesota students and West Bank hippies alike.

The West Bank/Cedar-Riverside neighborhood has evolved quite a bit over the last 25 years. Many Somali refugees have made a home there, just like Scandinavian and Eastern European immigrants before them. In 2019, Mary Mathis and Colleen Cowie created a neighborhood photo tour for The Current. “I’m very proud of my neighborhood,” community activist Abdirizak Bihi shared in that article. “We know each other, we’ve got Somali businesses, East African restaurants, Asian restaurants, mainstream restaurants and coffee shops […] That’s the only spot in the whole state where you have a mosque where we pray five times a day, and a bar with music next door.”