Edit ModuleShow Tags

One Month, Two-Plus Closings for Saint Paul



Published:

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

Related Articles

Rosemary Parmigiano-Reggiano Popcorn Recipe

Jazz up a healthy popcorn snack with Italian flair and celebrate National Popcorn Day

Farm To Table Worth Visiting In St. Michael

What happens when a hotel chef leaves downtown and opens a restaurant in a small exurb near Albertville

Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Black Bean Soup with Avocado and Chorizo Recipe

Warm up inside and out with a steaming bowl of easy-to-make homemade soup
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

TC Taste 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 TC Taste bloggers.

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

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recent TC Taste Posts

Rosemary Parmigiano-Reggiano Popcorn Recipe

Jazz up a healthy popcorn snack with Italian flair and celebrate National Popcorn Day

Farm To Table Worth Visiting In St. Michael

What happens when a hotel chef leaves downtown and opens a restaurant in a small exurb near Albertville

Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Black Bean Soup with Avocado and Chorizo Recipe

Warm up inside and out with a steaming bowl of easy-to-make homemade soup

2017 Food Trends in the Twin Cities

Moveable Feast: MnMo editor Rachel Hutton and MPR Classical’s John Birge revisit last year’s predictions and make new ones

Data Dig: Increase in Twin Cities Restaurants

How many restaurants were there in 2001 compared to today? Jason digs into the data.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags