Local Current Blog

No, the Kitty Cat Klub isn’t closed forever (the owner hopes)

“Soooooo,” tweeted Brenda Peters, a local music booker, recently, “did the Kitty Cat Klub close for good??”

No, says owner John Rimarcik. Reached by phone this afternoon, he cited the difficulty of hiring staff as the reason that neither the Kitty Cat Klub nor the upstairs Annie’s Parlour — which he also owns, along with multiple other Minneapolis restaurants — has reopened since the Covid-19 pandemic forced them to close back in March 2020. Rimarcik says he expects to reopen in the future, but likely not until 2022.

As Joe Schaedler noted in response to Peters’s tweet, the fact that the Kitty Cat Klub is owned by its landlord gives Rimarcik more flexibility than a venue that needs to make rent payments.

The Dinkytown venue was founded in 2002, designed and managed in its early years by Jason McLean, who was later accused of sexual abuse and fled Minnesota in 2017. Before the pandemic, the 400-capacity club was a popular venue for live music and dance nights. It’s also notable as home to the El Dorado Collection of conquistador kitsch.

“The vibe was EVERYTHING!” tweeted artist Annie Mack. And, if Rimarcik gets his wish, it will be again.

Photo: St. Paul band Blood Folke perform at the Kitty Cat Klub in 2011. (Sharyn Morrow/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)