By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis restaurateur has abruptly closed his north Minneapolis restaurant after ten years, and is closing his nationally-acclaimed Linden Hills restaurant in two weeks.

Chef Erick Harcey has served the last “Perfect Burger” at Victory 44 as of Friday night.

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“We have had an incredible run in north Minneapolis and I am so proud of what we have accomplished there,” Harcey said in a statement.

Harcey did not give a reason for the closing.

The Victory 44 Perfect Burger (credit: CBS)

At the same time, he announced he was closing Upton 43 on Aug. 13. He said he is finalizing a deal to move Upton to the North Loop of Minneapolis, but did not give the location. He also noted it may be months before the new spot opens.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to relocate Upton 43 to a new dense neighborhood close to downtown,” he said in the statement.

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Harcey says the new space will be smaller than the Linden Hills spot, and the change would allow him to “focus more on cooking” — and on another new location opening on Hiawatha Avenue and 46th Street in 2018.

Upton 43 was named one of the 21 best new restaurants in the country by Eater, and its critical success earned Harcey a James Beard semi-finalist nomination for Best Chef: Midwest.

The chicken take-out concept Dirty Bird is also closing, and not moving to the North Loop.

It is unusual for one restauranteur to close two restaurants and announce the opening of two restaurants at the same time.

A spokesperson said there were no financial difficulties; Harcey wanted to focus more on cooking, and felt his future was in the style of cooking at Upton rather than the casual food at Victory.

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The spokesperson also said the Linden Hills location’s large size and distance from the urban core were limiting their success.

Jason DeRusha