Jerusalem's Restaurant on Nicollet Avenue might be the next development victim


Jerusalem's unique dome will no longer grace Nicollet Avenue. Isaac Hale

Jerusalem's is one of the oldest Middle Eastern restaurants in Minneapolis.

For 35 years, its unique domed architecture, its ceilings stapled with bolts of billowing fabric, its gyrating belly dancers, and its addictive lemon-yogurt soup have kept Nicollet Avenue fed and entertained. 

But there is a purchase agreement between a real estate developer and the owner of the property. The restaurant will close in August to make way for a mixed-use development. 

Jerusalem's owner Saleh Azem said that he hopes that Jerusalem's will get a space in the new development, but no solid plan has been reached. Jana Metge, coordinator of Citizens for a Loring Park Community neighborhood organization, says she also hopes they will be built back into the project. 

"They are a great business and good neighborhood partner," she said. 

Meanwhile, Jerusalem's is adjusting to the impending change. 

"It's going to be the hardest six months for us after all these years -- we are going to close the restaurant," said Azem. 

Jerusalem's has been open since 1982. We will update with further developments. 

1518 Nicollet Ave S., Minneapolis

An earlier version of this article stated that there was an agreement between a real estate developer and the owner of Jerusalem's. No such agreement has been made and the text has since been updated. 

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