MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is the end of an era as Nye’s Polonaise Room in northeast Minneapolis closes for good tonight.

Nye’s has been an iconic restaurant and bar in the neighborhood for more than 60 years, known for things like live performances by the World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band. Esquire magazine named it the best bar in America in 2006.

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The owners are selling the place to make room for new housing in the area. The establishment has been busy for a majority of its final weekend in business. People here say they had to come take one more chance to be in a place that withstood the test of time.

It’s known for bringing together Polish food with a polka lounge and piano bar.

“It’s like a family. You can just walk in,” one patron said.

Perhaps Nye’s will be remembered most for mixing people from all walks of life.

“It was a different place to go. I just loved the atmosphere,” George Bedford said.

George Bedford first came to Nye’s four decades ago as a college student.

“And I liked the accordion. None of my friends were into it but I was so it was a good time,” Bedford said.

He still couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate his 70th birthday.

“It’s very close to maybe an atmosphere like Cheers or something like that. You have regulars not saying you were best of friends but you recognize people,” he said.

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One last hurrah as time runs out in a place where for so long it seemed to stand still.

“I never worked here but i came down here all the time to eat the food,” Bruce Anderson said.

Bruce Anderson says his uncle, Al Nye, was an original entrepreneur.

“Al, in our family was known as the Godfather,” Anderson said.

Never imagining a hangout he started to showcase his Polish heritage would become so deeply rooted in northeast Minneapolis.

“It’s really a darn shame not going to be like this anymore,” Anderson said. “We are going to really miss the place, we really are.”

A reminder the place is still open until 2 a.m. Monday. There will be an opportunity for people to buy some of the vintage items in here during an online auction that begins April 11.

 

 

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