A new Uptown-area gay bar is slated to open later this month.
Cheers Minneapolis, which will operate out of the former Rudolphs Bar-B-Que site at 1933 Lyndale Ave. South, is scheduled to open June 21, according to an announcement posted on the bar’s GoFundMe page, which has since been deactivated. Minneapolis-based Red Star Group LLC is renting the space from the previous owners.
Red Star owner Emad Abed tells TCB he has abandoned plans to raise $2 million to buy the building after facing pushback on social media.
"I wanted to raise money to purchase the building so we can preserve it as a gay bar. ... If it's owned by a different party, there is no guarantee that will take place," Abed says. "It seems like it was not received well. ... If I were them, I'd be grateful someone is trying to create a hangout."
A former Minneapolis City Council member also raised concerns about fundraising without approval, Abed says.
Red Star would have used some of the money to renovate the building and transform its unfinished basement into a speakeasy.
“Lots of work needs to be done and we have many many plans to make this location a local hub for community events for our LGBTQ community in Minneapolis,” wrote Andreas Santiago on the now-defunct GoFundMe page, which was launched late Sunday. Santiago has been helping Abed with the bar’s marketing and IT efforts.
Cheers’ leaders aim to host bar events on a weekly basis, Santiago says.
The building’s 8,000-square-foot first floor will house Cheers’ bar and restaurant.
The Minneapolis City Council approved a liquor license for the place Feb. 1. The building’s market value is listed at $966,000 for 2019, according to data from the Hennepin County Assessor’s office.
Rudolphs Bar-B-Que closed in July last year.