The Minneapolis Planning Commission will decide Monday whether to approve plans to demolish the Uptown Bar & Café at 3018 Hennepin Avenue and replace it with a three-story retail building, according to the commission’s most recently published agenda.
Jeffrey Herman, president of local retail brokerage and development company Urban Anthology, submitted the development plans to the city on behalf of Toonen Enterprises, which owns the property. Herman was behind the deals that brought Victoria’s Secret, American Apparel and The North Face to the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street. He also brokered a deal with Columbia Sportswear, which will soon move into a new building next door to the Uptown Bar & Café.
No specific business is listed in the plans for the Uptown Bar and Café site and Herman could not be immediately reached for comment.
Though it is proposed as three stories, the new building would include two floors. It would stand 40-feet tall and total 9,660 square feet.
Urban Anthology is asking for two variances – one to increase the maximum allowable floor area for retail sales and services from 8,000 square feet to 9,660 square feet and another to reduce the off-street parking requirement from seven to zero.
Local neighborhood groups have not submitted recommendations about the development to the city. Anders Imboden, who chairs the East Calhoun Community Organization’s zoning committee, said Herman presented plans to the group, but it opted not to take a position.
“Our conversation was pretty much along the lines of, well, we don’t want to support this because the Uptown Bar is such an institution,” Imboden said. “But from what we gather, if the owner wants to sell the land there’s not much we can really say about that from a zoning perspective.”
The Uptown Bar & Café is locally famous for its live music, heaping breakfasts and dive-bar décor. Sources close to the development deal said the restaurant’s owners were looking for a new location. The establishment’s owners declined to comment on the situation.
Community members can weigh in on the development plans during a public hearing Monday at the Planning Commission meeting. The meeting starts at 4:30 p.m. in City Hall, 350 S. 5th St.