Mar 4, 2021 - News

Pandemic pain for Minneapolis park food vendors

The operators of food stands at Minneapolis parks had a rough 2020 as the pandemic cut into business.

The state of play: Overall revenue at Sea Salt Eatery, Bread & Pickle and Sandcastle was down a combined $2.4 million, or about 44% compared to 2019, according to data from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

  • Sea Salt Eatery at Minnehaha Falls, the most popular of the three, lost 54% of its revenue. It had done $3.4 million in sales before the pandemic.
  • Kim Bartmann's Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet was only down about 14%.

Why Bread & Pickle fared better: The food stand added delivery and curbside pickup and expanded its operations, Bartmann said.

  • It also may have missed out on disruption from this summer's civil unrest — which was located closer to the other two vendors.

The big picture: Bartmann, whose company also owns Barbette and Pat's Tap, estimated that her traditional restaurants lost 70 to 75% of their revenue last year compared to 2019.

What's next: Despite the down year, more food options are coming to Minneapolis parks!

  • Owamni by the Sioux Chef, an Indigenous foods restaurant, has been planning a spring opening at a new building next to St. Anthony Falls.
  • The Park Board is in the design phase for a new pavilion, scheduled to open in 2023, on Bde Maka Ska. The former lakeside refractory burned down in 2019 and displaced vendor Lola, which is now serving from a food truck.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Twin Cities.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Twin Cities stories

No stories could be found

Twin Citiespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Twin Cities.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more