Facing eviction, Ike's cocktail bar closes in downtown Minneapolis

Outside U.S. Bank Stadium, Ike's is now strictly a suburban destination.

Outside U.S. Bank Stadium, Ike's is now strictly a suburban destination. Google Street

After 18 years in downtown Minneapolis, Ike's Food & Cocktails is closed for good.

At the start of this month and year, the downtown bar said it had closed until February 1 for "necessary upgrades and renovations," inviting patrons to visit its locations in Minnetonka and Bloomington in the meantime.

Those in search of an "exciting new enhanced menu" now have no choice but to leave town, according to the Star Tribune, which reported Wednedsay the downtown closure is permanent, and stems from a disagreement with the building owner.

Ike's owner Gene Winstead says the business tried negotiating with building owners, but talks to renegotiate its lease with the landlord starting in July had failed. Last week, building owners served Ike's with an eviction notice.

The building is owned by a Singapore-based firm called Mapletree and operated by Newmark Knight Frank, which also has global reach, and neither got back to the Star Tribune with a hint at what's next for the former Ike's space.

Known for its drinks menu and a very brief experiment with seasonal guacamole pricing, Ike's has branched out to open a venue at U.S. Bank Stadium and Champions' Grille at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Meanwhile, invitations to visit locations in the 'burbs still stand, and a third Ike's (the second in Bloomington) is set to open this summer. 

Winstead told the Strib "many issues" made business difficult downtown, including the "perception" the area is unsafe, though it was "labor costs, operational costs, maintenance costs and taxes" that drove the need to negotiate new lease terms with building owners.

"Get good guest counts at lunch and people think you're really making it," Winstead said, "but it's a tough business these days."