Uptown businesses announce closings and other changes

Williams Pub is now closed, while Stella’s Fish Cafe announced an end date of Nov. 26. Meanwhile, Amore Uptown will become a new Italian restaurant.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — At Amore Uptown, there’s no shortage of love.

“I took my wife here, I didn’t know it at the time but for her 20th birthday, when we first started dating,” said Dan Pramann of Woodbury.

The Uptown restaurant went on to become a birthday tradition for the now family of six.

“We were pretty devastated when we found out that it’s closing,” Pramann said.

Pramann’s oldest kid is currently in the hospital at Children’s Minnesota in St. Paul. On Sunday, Pramann picked up dinner from the restaurant and said, “I’m going to try and figure out how we can eat over video chat, here [Pramann’s wife] eating at the hospital and us eating at home.”

Pramann also left with a memento from the restaurant — a sign that says “wine tasting.”

But Amore Uptown Owner Tim McHugh is hopeful the family can make new memories in the Italian restaurant set to open in the same space.

“Instead of another boarded up storefront in Uptown, it’s just a brief pause. They’ll do a quick remodel and it’s going to stay the Italian place on the corner like it’s been for 30 years,” said McHugh, who bought the restaurant in 2015 when it was known as Amore Victoria and renamed it Amore Uptown. “New menu, and new name, and some refresh aesthetically. That’s all fine. So it couldn’t have worked out better.”

Kim Bartmann of Placemaker Hospitality acquired the business and will take over the space on December 1. November 20 was Amore Uptown’s last day open before McHugh retires. He said a majority of his staff members plan to stay on for the change.

“Unlike some of my friends at Williams, and Stella’s, and Pourhouse, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, we were fortunate enough not to have it be another closing, permanent shutdown, boarded-up, small business,” McHugh said.

Earlier in the week, Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar closed its doors. A sign on the door said, “Sadly, we must say goodbye. Williams is permanently closed.”

Meanwhile, Stella’s Fish Cafe & Prestige Oyster Bar announced Saturday that it would be closing its doors as of Saturday, Nov. 26.

“We will miss the beautiful community that has come through our doors over the past 17 years. You’ve truly supported a dream that has surpassed all expectations,” said Stella’s, as part of a statement on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“That’s probably the part that breaks my heart. Because I know everyone and I know how hard everyone has struggled, tried, pivoted, had to think outside the box. Really through no fault of our own, just circumstance. And not just in this neighborhood but all through the Twin Cities,” McHugh said.

While McHugh is ready to retire he said he plans on staying active in the neighborhood, including continuing his involvement with the Uptown Association.

“I’m the eternal optimist. In this neighborhood we’ve all dealt with a lot,” McHugh said. “But maybe because of my age and my perspective, I’m confident the pendulum will swing back.”

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