The week before Thanksgiving, Brooklyn Center Business and Development Director Gary Eitel said the Oak City Sports Tavern, 2590 Freeway Blvd., opened for business as usual on Saturday night. The next day, it closed it doors.
“I am somewhat surprised, to tell you the truth, particularly now,” Eitel said. “(The) holiday season is particularly when the hospitality industry does well,” he said.
A sign on the door of Oak City Sports Tavern simply reads, “Thanks for the patronage. Sorry we are out of business.”
Mike Curry is listed as the owner of the tavern on its liquor license, according to Brooklyn Center City Clerk Sharon Knutson.
He was not available for comment.
Eitel said the Oak City Sports Tavern, located next to a Country Inn & Suites, was formerly a T.G.I. Fridays.
“I don’t know what at all prompted the change,” Eitel said. “There was supposed to be a Country Kitchen, but that never happened,” he said.
There was a shooting in the parking lot of Oak City Sports Tavern on Oct. 13.
Cmdr. Tim Gannon, of the Brooklyn Center Police, said last week he did not know why Oak City Sports Tavern closed, but that it was not because of any police call activity there or at neighboring businesses.
“We have no information why they closed. If it was a money issue, it was an ownership decision,” he said.
It has been a struggle for new restaurants to open and stay open in Brooklyn Center, according to Eitel.
“I think it’s extremely unfortunate to know that a good restaurant is no longer available,” Eitel said. “Our focus has still got to be how do we get more restaurants to open in a difficult economy.”
Shingle Creek Crossing, located at Highway 100 and Bass Lake Road, is a targeted site the city would like to see more restaurants open at, Eitel said.
Gatlin Development has designated buildings that could be restaurants in the redevelopment of the former Brookdale Mall site, but leases are still being finalized.
“We’ve got a great lunch crowd here, convenient location and good access,” Eitel said.
If one or two new restaurants open in Brooklyn Center and flourish, Eitel said it would draw in more business. “It just hasn’t happened for some time,” Eitel said. “That’s still a challenge to find.”