Financial trouble blamed for Borealis closure

Robyn Repya

Dinkytown’s Borealis Caffe closed its doors Saturday night after being threatened with eviction.

Financial problems, in addition to the relatively obscure location on 13th Avenue, are said to be the root causes of the 24-hour restaurant’s closure.

A Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office official posted the writ of recovery – a court-ordered eviction based on debt – Monday.

Roseann Campagnoli, a Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, said the eviction is the result of court proceedings involving the property owner, Ber-kel Properties.

Borealis management was not available for comment, but employees said the closing is due to financial reasons.

“I think people saw it coming. They were in denial, but it was obvious,” said Kate Gregoric, a server and bartender.

Gregoric said a fellow employee informed her of the restaurant’s closing shortly before her shift Friday night. She said she was saddened but not surprised by the news.

“I’ve been drinking pretty heavily since I’ve found out, and I’m going to continue that for a while,” said Gregoric, a former University student.

Campagnoli said in cases such as this the cause of the eviction is usually due to a violation in the terms of a lease, such as not paying rent.

Katrina Mau, owner of This & That, a variety store on Fourth Street, attributed the closure to a lack of advertising opportunities because of the location.

“They were so set back and secluded, you never knew they were there. It’s a bad location,” she said.

Gregoric said some people thought the beer prices at the bar were too high, but she said they were fair considering all the beers are imported.

Katie Marshall, a server, said the owner told her the financial troubles were due to the lack of sales. She said it was ultimately the landlord’s decision to close but it was related to the financial difficulties.

Dan Zileske, president of the Dinkytown Business Association, said most of the other businesses that have previously occupied the Borealis space, such as Perry’s and Khan’s Mongolian Barbecue, had been successful because they were more exotic.

Borealis is not part of the DBA. Zileske said news of the closure came as a surprise.

“Usually there’s somewhat of a buzz – people speculating. But people don’t know anything about this,” he said.

Gregoric said she didn’t think Borealis fit well in Dinkytown but said she still wishes it could stay open.

“This place is beautiful and magical – there’s no reason it should be shut down,” she said. “There’s a certain core group of people in the area who will be very sad.”

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