La Belle Vie, the lauded upscale restaurant and cocktail lounge, will close October 24 after over 17 years in business, including a decade in their current Groveland Avenue location. Chef Tim McKee has cited a number of factors in the closing—rising costs, increased competition, changing dining habits, and road construction, among others.
Speaking to Rick Nelson at the Star Tribune, McKee noted that LBV may have become hamstrung as an option only for special occasions:
“The problem is, people don’t have enough special occasions,” he said. “The underlying message of all this is, if there’s a restaurant that means something to you and you really think is important, it’s your responsibility to keep them busy.”
And chatting with Dara Moskowitz at Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine, McKee delved further into the finances of the operation, noting a minimum wage hike without a tipped employee credit was eating into the already slim margins. But he remains happy about what LBV was able to accomplish:
“I really saw that we were in a position to change how Minneapolis approached food, and it was really exciting. That’s what I wanted to do, to change the way people in Minneapolis, people in the Twin Cities, experienced food. I wanted to elevate the level of dining in the Twin Cities. When I see articles calling us Best New Food City in the country [Saveur magazine on Minneapolis, in June 2015] I like to think I was part of it.”
Rick Nelson’s Take: [H/T Star Tribune]
Dara’s Postmortem: [H/T MSP Mag]