As one Lake Street business closes, others are ready to go through the ‘reconstruction phase’
Niver opened the Italian restaurant in 2019 unaware that the pandemic, unrest and a spike in crime would shut it down.
“We couldn’t bear the financial part of it all anymore. It’s just that there aren’t as many people here as before,” Niver said.
The owner explained that he has seen businesses come and go in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood. Some companies said they were maintaining their optimism and sticking around.
“We are in a solid reconstruction phase. I feel like it’s starting to come back as people start to trust the neighborhood again,” said Mikael Carlson, director of Wuollet Bakery & Coffee.
Carlson said he’s seen a change in the neighborhood — more people are moving out than moving in.
He thanks regular customers for keeping the lights on.
“This neighborhood is really loyal to the neighborhood. Very nice townsman. It’s really good,” Carlson said.
Lyn-Lake Business Association board members explained that there are a lot of moving parts that make it difficult to run a small business in unpredictable times.
“You look at the cumulative effect of everything that’s happened and then you add winter on top, there’s definitely less foot traffic. The more people have a specific destination in mind and they go there” , said Morgan Luzier, board member of the Lyn-Lake Business Association.
But challenges don’t scare people away.
Over the next few months, Luzier said, at least two new businesses will open in the neighborhood.
“There’s always someone crazy enough to open a small business because we’re passionate, independent people. It’s hard to hold us back despite all of this,” Luzier said.
The owner of the Third Space Café did not hesitate to open her café in Lyn-Lake.
“I know the neighborhood has changed, and I know Minneapolis itself is going through a transitional phase, but we don’t see or feel the narrative that’s being portrayed about this neighborhood,” said the owner of Third Space Café, Erin Ryan-Mosley. “I am here every day. I see the neighborhood. I eat it, sleep it and breathe it and it comes back.
Business owners agree – despite the ups and downs, Lyn-Lake’s future is still bright.
“There are definitely still plenty of opportunities here and Lake Street will always come back strong. It just takes a little time,” Niver said.
The last day to dine at Mucci in Minneapolis is Saturday.
Mucci’s original location in St. Paul will continue to serve customers, according to the owner.