MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Forty Minneapolis restaurants say they’re worried the perception of downtown right now will kill their businesses, and they’re publicly asking for the mayor’s help.

The restaurants jointly wrote a letter to Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council Tuesday about their concerns. They say public safety and perception of public safety are greatly impacting the viability of restaurants downtown.

The letter calls for city officials to create a plan of action to make public safety a priority, to get people back downtown, and help businesses survive.

Some the restaurants making up this group calling for action include Black Sheep Pizza, Dakota Jazz Club, Smack Shack, Hell’s Kitchen and Brit’s Pub.

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WCCO spoke with Tanya Spaulding, who lives and works downtown and is representing all the restaurants in this group, and she says right now the city is at the turning point where change needs to happen.

“We want them to address that there is an issue in downtown that needs to be fixed now, before downtown Minneapolis goes in the wrong director for good,” Spaulding said. “What is the plan of action? We want zero tolerance for the crime, for the harassment, for the assaults, for the theft. and we want the greater community to know it is not lawless. There is law here.”

While some may feel like it’s dangerous to be downtown. The Minneapolis Police statistics say otherwise. MPD reports that property crimes are down 30% from this time last year in downtown, and violent crime is down 17%.

WCCO has reached out to Frey for comment, and received the following:

“Over the last several months, Mayor Frey has worked with Chief Arradondo and taken decisive steps toward meaningful reforms and strengthening public safety throughout our city. 

“The mayor and chief have enhanced accountability on critical incident scenes, put in place new policy measures to emphasize de-escalation, and overhauled the department’s use of force policy. At the same time, every Minneapolis resident and worker deserves to feel safe in our city. That’s why they’ve made the difficult but necessary decision to reallocate resources within the department, reassigning over 90 active officers to 911 response and investigative work. 

“Both are committed to working with any and all partners willing to commit to doing the hard work of creating safer, healthier communities and moving our city forward.”

Here is the full list of restaurants who attached their names to the letter:

  • Eastside
  • Murray’s
  • Borough and Parlour Bar
  • PS Steak
  • Spoon and Stable
  • Smack Shack
  • Demi
  • Pizza Luce
  • Union
  • Crave
  • Brit’s Pub
  • The Dakota
  • Mercury
  • Sawatdee
  • Zen Box
  • Afro Deli
  • Vellee Deli
  • Hell’s Kitchen
  • Fhima’s
  • Angel Food Bakery
  • Ruth’s Chris
  • The Loon Café
  • The Loop
  • F+B (Minnesota Farmer’s Union and Birchwood Café)
  • Mackenzie’s Pub
  • Manny’s
  • Barrio
  • Black Sheep Pizza
  • Shea, Inc.
  • Freehouse
  • 801 Chophouse
  • Constantine
  • O’Donovan’s

Monello

Marielle Mohs

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