Edit ModuleShow Tags

One Month, Two-Plus Closings for Saint Paul


Nothing like a 20-year class reunion to bring home the passage of time.

I flew home this week after attending multiple reunion cocktail parties replete with conversations centered on questions like, “So, how you been”? All was not dull though. There were my awkward assurances that, of course, I remembered the person who turned out to have been my roommate sophomore year. There was the past acquaintance that now works at Morgan Stanley, to which I could think of nothing more intelligent to ask than if any of his colleagues had been to jail. There was the friendly frat-ish type trying to rekindle nonexistent past romances with my wife and subsequent worries that my head might explode before I could make it to the rental car.

20 years is a pittance, however, compared to the time which some of this town’s more venerable, valuable, and as it turns out fragile businesses have seen. This week, Jerabeks bakery announced it was calling it quits after more than 100 years on St Paul’s West side. This news comes in the same month that the Artist’s Quarter jazz club announced that it too was closing its doors by the end of the year (not to mention Linder’s Garden Center and College of Visual Arts shuttering earlier this year).

Jerabek’s and the Artist’s Quarter both, it seems to me, made you feel after a visit like it had been too long since your last one. You’d promise yourself to revisit soon, and then, months or even years would somehow go by. Both offered authentic types of experiences not available anywhere else in the Twin Cities. The closing of the Artist Quarter in particular, with its black interior and no frills attention to jazz music, signals a scary and obvious discussion on the viability of jazz itself to a younger generation in Minnesota. Likewise, Jerabek’s serves food in a style popular with past generations with pastries, like the kolache and pasty, and sandwiches made on sliced loaf bread, just like mom used to make—simple and homey.

Many of us, me included, focus our attention on the newest places. Some of us even keep lists of the places we haven’t made it to yet, checking them off as we go. Many of us too, feel the loss of neighborhood gems and nationally acclaimed music venues, and know we have nobody but ourselves to blame.

What’s the answer? Maybe we need Kickstarter fundraising classes for businesses of a certain age, or public subsidies for places that serve the cultural good, or tax incentives, or free advertising. Or maybe, if you share a college dorm room with a guy, even 20 years ago, you should try to remember his damned name.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Fresh, homemade bread is faster and easier than you think with dough that mixes in five minutes and needs no time to rise

Hello Pizza Turns 5, Ann Kim Short-listed for James Beard Award

Hello Pizza might have middle-child syndrome next to Ann Kim's other pizza shops—but this is what makes it worth revisiting

2018 James Beard Award Finalists

Minnesota chefs stay prominent in the James Beard shortlist

Brews for Good

Guinness is donating $1 to charity for each adult that dons a ‘stache and shares on social media now through March 31, 2018

3 Reasons to Brunch This Weekend

Elegant N/A drinks, outstanding oeufs, and the best of ’80s hair rock this weekend

Blueberry-Walnut Squares Recipe

Enjoy a double-dose of antioxidants with walnuts and blueberries in this treat

Oscar Party Appetizers

Elevate your table with a trio of jazzed up party bites for a win in the best supporting snacks category

Exploring Washington Wines

Sample and discover delicious wines from our country’s second-largest wine-producing area at the Food & Wine Experience March 3 and 4

27 Best Twin Cities Restaurants For Wine

From big-name wine experts to surprising hidden gems, here's where you can always get a glass of great wine
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags