30 March 2013

Primebar @ Calhoun Square: Hello, Goodbye

Here’s a ‘first’ for Krik’s Picks. I’m writing a post about a restaurant that’s closed.

I’m sure that several restaurants that I’ve reviewed in the past are closed now. But this is the first one that I’ve written about knowing that it’s already closed.

My  wife and I went to Primebar at Calhoun Square in Minneapolis only once. It was exactly one week ago as I write this. We really liked it. My wife had a great burger, one that she described as being one of the best she’d ever had. I had a barbecued beef sandwich, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. We both had a glass of very good beer. The cocktail menu also was pretty interesting. The décor and ambiance was friendly and comfortable. Our server was attentive and helpful.

And yet, a few days later, we both were shocked to read that Primebar had closed. No explanation why, just suddenly and abruptly closed. The day after we were there, the Star Tribune had an article on nightlife in Uptown, and included a call-out of Primebar.

Primbar’s location at the corner of Hennepin and Lake ought to be good. An old favorite of ours, Figlio, operated there for 25 years. It was a reliable standby. We enjoyed meals there after movies, happy hour with friends, a very memorable New Year’s Day meal there with our kids. When it closed, we were surprised. But at least the owner had an explanation – he felt the concept had grown tired, and he wanted to try something new. He has since realized that there was some magic about Figlio, and he’s trying to recreate it at a new location. We haven’t been there yet, but will try it sometime soon.

The new concept was called Il Gatto. We went there a few times. We weren’t very impressed. So we weren’t too surprised when it closed.

So it will be interesting to see what comes into the space next. I hope it has a better run than Primebar.

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