2. Scoop: Nicollet Mall restaurant getting new life
A big and high-profile bar and restaurant space on Nicollet Mall is coming back to life this spring with new operators.
Driving the news: Ties Lounge & Rooftop is opening next month at 921 Nicollet Ave., the four-story, 15,000-square-foot building that formerly housed Randle's and Rojo Mexican Grill.
Why it matters: It's the latest effort to reanimate a downtown Minneapolis — and particularly Nicollet Mall — that is struggling to recover from the pandemic as most of its major employers haven't brought their workers back to the office.
Flashback: The building has been vacant since 2019 after a former operator opened and closed three restaurants in a span of three years.
Details: Three promoters of events are now operating the space, with plans for a basement dance floor, mezzanine lounge and large rooftop patio.
- Joey Meatballs owner Joshua Hedquist will run a kitchen serving Italian food on the first floor.
What they're saying: "People have to give downtown a chance again. It's part of our community," said co-owner Gene Sanguma. "We can bring back unity through entertainment — out with the old, in with the new."
Of note: Sanguma, 25, Tommy Joyce, 25, and Stevie Moman, 26, previously ran Minneapolis Ties, promoting events at popular downtown Minneapolis bars like Crave, Union Rooftop and Pourhouse.
What's next: A grand opening will be held mid-February.