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Stick a fork in it, Butcher & the Boar is done.

Original chef Jack Riebel's smoked beef long rib from Butcher & the Boar.

Original chef Jack Riebel's smoked beef long rib from Butcher & the Boar. Star Tribune

For those keeping an eye turned toward Butcher & the Boar, the question for a while now has been more of when, not if 

As a challenge, try to think back to a time when rumors about Minneapolis’s meat-and-bourbon establishment on the edge of downtown being dunzo weren’t swirling. Heck, there’s was even a baby-sprawl of a Reddit thread started six months ago with the purpose of speculating about how the place’s (erstwhile) appearance on the Minnesota’s tax delinquency lists might impact its operations…

During its early 20-teens glory days, Jack Riebel, Tim Rooney, and Doug van Winkel opened its doors to massive praise. Its forte was an ability to serve a menu of big, manly meats and bold bourbons to a downtown audience, effectively bridging the gap between Midwestern sensibilities and upscale polish. As the end of the decade crept up, Tim Rooney passed away, Jack Riebel parted ways with the establishment, and diners would take some of these accomplishments for granted, while finding other choices had fallen out of fashion.

As of this afternoon, that morbid sport of guessing about the future of the smoke fueled dude-y den of suspender snapping has drawn to a close, since ownership confirms they've thrown in the face wipes for real this time. 

Staff were informed that the establishment would cease operations effective today. Van Winkel, Butcher's last remaining original owner, told WCCO that the "pandemic, social unrest, and crime, high costs of operating in downtown, [and] no additional federal aid,” had all impacted his choice to call it quits.

The restaurant's closure follows that of 4 Bells, the company's second restaurant in town, which had specialized in serving upscale Southern seafood fare and shuttered in May due to COVID-19. For diehard fans (of both closure speculation and dining at the restaurant!) some light remains: the Charleston, South Carolina location of Butcher & the Boar continues to welcome guests.