Sencha Tea Bar in Stadium Village to close in May

The owner of the campus staple will look to find other options to expand the chain instead of renewing the Stadium Village lease.

Miguel Octavio

A Stadium Village hotspot for bubble tea is expected to close its doors in the coming months. 

Sencha Tea Bar, located on 825 Washington Ave. SE., will close by the end of May. Owner Brian Friese decided not to renew the location’s annual lease after he learned about the potential for redevelopment in the area from property owners. 

The University Foundation Real Estate Advisors owns the parcel of land where the tea bar is located. Sarah Harris, managing director of UMFREA, said plans to renovate or make other changes to the building are still ongoing. 

“Our goal is to keep small, well-loved businesses in the area,” Harris said. “What we want is to take what’s working here and enhance that with new things.”

Friese purchased the Sencha franchise in 2014 and said plans to open another location are already underway. Instead of renewing the lease, Friese said he will take the opportunity to find other options to expand the chain. 

“The fact that we’re closing in the University of Minnesota has nothing to do with how well Sencha is doing,” Friese said. “We still believe the University of Minnesota is a great place to do business.”

Friese said he may open a location back on campus once UMFREA’s plans for the building are complete. Sencha Tea Bar has four other locations in the Twin Cities metro area.