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Developers’ Plan Could Tear Down Sally’s Bar, Rebuild It

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In its 21 years, Sally’s Saloon and Eatery has seen plenty of changes around it – like the light rail, a new stadium and new apartment complexes nearby.

Now, those changes could come directly to the popular University of Minnesota bar.

In a meeting with city planners on Wednesday, developers made public their plan to temporarily close the bar in July, and reopen it the following summer after five floors of apartments have been built above it.

Sally’s owner Chris Diebold said he’s talked with plenty of developers over the years, but has always told any potential buyer that Sally’s must stay. He said this plan still has a long ways to go before approval, but it if goes through, Sally’s will most definitely reopen.

“Sally’s is an institution,” said developer Daniel Oberpriller. “Sally’s stays.”

CPM Development wants to build a six-story, 98-unit apartment complex for students, and would have to tear down the entire corner to do so. The plans have the new restaurant space being the same size, but with higher ceilings and more efficient space. The parking lot will go, but there will be a new courtyard.

“They’ll miss one cycle, but it’ll be bigger and back and better than ever,” Oberpriller said.

For some students, they’ll be happy to come back. For others, the old space will be a loss.

“I wonder how it’s going to look,” Stephanie Walters said. “It has such a cool feeling here, all the old stuff hanging up.”

Wednesday’s meeting was a pre-approval meeting to go over some of the details.

The next steps will be an official application and a public hearing. The city planner said three months is the very earliest anything might happen.

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