Century-old Coliseum building reopens on Minneapolis’ Lake Street

Century-old Coliseum building reopens on Minneapolis’ Lake Street

Century-old Coliseum building reopens on Minneapolis' Lake Street

The century-old Coliseum building in Minneapolis reopened on Wednesday in tandem with the Juneteenth holiday and Soul of the Southside celebration.

The building was badly damaged during the civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020 and was left vacant.

Gov. Tim Walz, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and City Council Member Robin Wonsley were among the elected officials who stood with Minneapolis-based redevelopment company Redesign, Inc. and other neighborhood stakeholders.

“These type of economic opportunities, this is where generational wealth is created,” said Gov. Walz ahead of the ribbon cutting.

Taylor Smrikarova was the lead developer on the project for Redesign, Inc.

“It’s about how we started in 2020 with the pandemic and the civil unrest, and now, we’re celebrating this rebuilt building that is more equitable, that reflects the community on this day, because we are progressing, and we’re happy about it,” Smrikarova said.

Shantele Montana co-owns the building. Together with husband Chris Montana of Du Nord Craft Spirits, the Montanas are in the process of constructing a restaurant serving Cajun, New Orleans-style cuisine and a separate but connected Du Nord Cocktail Room.

The building also features art and other purposeful reminders of the murder of George Floyd and the civil unrest that followed, including a wall damaged by smoke from multiple fires set in the building at the time, Montana said.

“I grew up here, I used to get my hair cut in this building,” Chris Montana shared. “And, I was standing right over there when the first buildings were being burned and when this building was being burned.”

“We want to focus on the future, but we don’t want people to lose sight of what happened here,” he added.

The Montanas expect to open the Lagniappe restaurant and Du Nord Cocktail Room in August. The couple said the hope is their businesses attract those early start-up entrepreneurs from the neighborhood to fill the roughly 25 spaces left in the building.