MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It looked as if the oldest bar in Minneapolis had shut its doors for good.

On Tuesday, Pracna on Main abruptly closed, taking down its website and social media accounts. The restaurant and bar opened in 1890 on what still is a cobblestone street, and on Wednesday vendors could be seen claiming their equipment.

Yet, fans of Pracna can take heart.

The building’s owner, well-known Twin Cities restaurateur John Rimarcik, says the bar will be renovated and reopen in the spring. He added that the bar closed this week because its lease had expired.

Updates to Pracna will include expanding bar service to the St. Anthony Main Theatre. It’s a renovation that’s in keeping with an increasingly upscale neighborhood. Currently, Northeast is experiencing a condo and apartment boom.

And Pracna isn’t the only Northeast landmark that’s changing. Last year, Nye’s Polonaise announced it would shut down for good in 2015. The neighborhood institution had been open for 65 years, and will likely be replaced by a high-rise residential building.

Business owners in the neighborhood say they’ve had to adapt to stay in business. One of them is Nick Kramarczuk, the grandson of the man who founded the legendary Polish deli and restaurant Kramarczuk’s.

“We have added new products, tried to follow food trends while at the same time staying true to what we do best,” he said.

And while many of the Northeast’s dive bars haven’t gone anywhere, they’re now alongside newcomers, like Betty Danger’s Country Club or Pacifier.

The latter, a children’s boutique, has been there 10 years, and its owners say Northeast has a makeup no other neighborhood can match.

“It’s a great mix,” said owner Wing Witthuhn. “That is what we love about Northeast, the diversity of it.”

Esme Murphy

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