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Sunday, April 10, 2016


Last weekend Minneapolis said goodbye to Nye's Polonaise Restaurant.  Nye's had been a Minneapolis landmark since 1950.

There was a long line to be seated, but it moved quickly.

Al Nye purchased the 1880's building and originally opened it as a bar, and being a machine shop foreman himself, he knew the importance of keep the business close to it's blue collar roots. The bar was successful and in 1964 Nye purchased the building next door to add a dining area, and thus the Polonaise Room was born.  Over the years the restaurant would expand into two additional spaces. Fortunately most of the original decor has stay the same over the years.

The old light fixtures were amazing.

Even the vintage wallpaper was fun.

The restaurant was famous for it's Polka Bar, and for it's Chopin Room which included a piano lounge complete with a curved piano bar and a portrait of Chopin on the wall behind.  As the restaurant grew, so did it's clientele as more and more people came to love the Polish food selections on the menu (the restaurant also served non-Polish offerings as well).

The cabbage rolls were delicious. 

The Polish sausage was so it good it didn't have a chance.

When I moved to Minneapolis fourteen years ago, one of the places I was told I had to visit, was Nye's.  Unfortunately I never at the occasion, so I was happy to have had the chance to eat there last weekend before they closed. While I LOVED the restaurant, the experience was bittersweet. On one hand the food was amazing, while on the other hand, was the reality that they wouldn't be here after that weekend. To say I was sad that I hadn't found my way there sooner is an understatement. 

The Polka Bar.

The Chopin Dining Room, complete with a curved piano bar.

Nye's has always been a gateway location to Northeast Minneapolis, but soon it's 1880's building will be replaced by new, modern designed, apartment building. I always feel a little sad when unique old building are torn down to make way for new.  I always feel that a bit of history is lost.  

I was a very satisfied customer.

Nye's Polonaise closed last weekend, and for sure a bit of Minneapolis History has been lost.

***What landmark restaurants have closed in your city?

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