Owners of Minneapolis restaurant destroyed in riots file lawsuit against city, Mayor Frey

Owners of Minneapolis restaurant destroyed in riots file lawsuit against city, Mayor Frey Photo: KSTP.

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: February 10, 2021 03:05 PM
Created: February 09, 2021 12:56 PM

The owners of a Minneapolis restaurant that was destroyed in the riots after George Floyd's death filed a lawsuit against the city and Mayor Jacob Frey.

In the lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County District Court on Monday, Kacey White and Charles Stotts, owners of Town Talk Diner & Gastropub, say the delay in response to the riots by the city and Frey allowed for more destruction and cost them their restaurant.

"Mayor Frey and the City's failure to control the significant (yet manageable) number of malefactors on Lake Street resulted in his failure to protect Town Talk," the lawsuit states, in part.

White and Stotts also state in the lawsuit that Frey and the city infringed on their property rights by "negotiating with and appeasing rioters," allowing the obstruction of public streets and "allowing pervasive vandalism and trespasses" on their property. As a result, they say their restaurant was destroyed and they lost their business, building, revenue and future income.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $4.5 million.

Minneapolis City Attorney Jim Rowader issued the following statement: 

"This unfortunate lawsuit completely ignores the facts that are largely not in dispute and already publicly disclosed. Specifically, the actions of the City of Minneapolis and Mayor Frey are extremely well documented by written communications which have already been reported on by the Star Tribune. 

"As evidenced by the attached documents, Mayor Frey took quick and decisive action, requesting the support from the Minnesota National Guard immediately upon the Police Chief's request to do so and as soon as there was any discernible risk of civil unrest and damage to neighborhoods and businesses. 

"Likewise, that same evening the Minneapolis Police Department submitted a detailed request outlining scope of the need and a mission plan for the additional support. The City has provided plaintiffs with these documents, and we are hopeful that they will amend their complaint given this clear and documented evidence. 

"The City Attorney's Office stands ready to vigorously defend this lawsuit."

Attorneys for Town Talk Diner issued the following statement to KSTP:

"Yesterday we filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Town Talk Diner and Gastropub against Mayor Frey and the City of Minneapolis. This lawsuit is in reaction to the destruction of our clients' business that occurred when the 3rd precinct was vacated, resulting in a loss of protection in adjacent properties during May 2020. We aim to assist our client in working with the city, with the goal to effectively re-open and rebuild their business."


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