Jul 7, 2022 - News

Beloved cyclist bar in Minburn is at risk of closing doors

Nineteen14 sign
A sign for The Nineteen14 in Minburn. Photo courtesy of Nineteen14

The Nineteen14, a beloved bar and restaurant by cyclists who frequent the Raccoon River Valley Trail, is at risk of closing down.

  • The city of Minburn is deciding the future of the building that houses it.

Driving the news: Jeremy Mahler, the owner of the bar, said he was surprised to learn the Minburn City Council voted to end its lease agreement with him during a meeting in June.

  • Just one meeting prior, in May, Mahler and city officials came to an agreement on a year-lease, according to council minutes.

Yes, but: Instead of getting the new lease in the mail, Mahler said last week, the city sent him a notice to vacate by the end of July.

  • "This has all just really blindsided us," Mahler said. "Last weekend was our six-year anniversary and there's just this creeping cloud hanging over us."

State of play: For the last six years, Mahler has leased the Depot — a historic building owned by the City of Minburn.

  • The 1914 brick depot was restored and moved next to the Raccoon River Valley Trail in 2014 with the goal of attracting cyclists who bike through the city.

Following a June assessment from a realtor, however, city officials are considering selling the property, saying the $750 monthly rent Mahler pays does not live up to the current value of the building, Minburn Mayor Joe Stuetelberg told Axios.

  • He said the council has decided selling the building was the best option "because we're losing money on it," Stuetelberg said.
  • "It's not really justifiable to spend taxpayer money or risk raising taxes just to keep up an old building like that," he said.

What they're saying: Mahler said he believes the value of the property has improved because of the popularity of his business and wants to talk with city officials.

  • He also said nine employees will lose their jobs.

The other side: Stuetelberg said even if there are new tenants, the city will preserve the location.

What's next: The city council heard public comments Wednesday night.

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