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New plan for burned Bde Maka Ska pavilion unveiled

After the Lola on the Lake restaurant was destroyed by fire in 2019, a new plan has been unveiled for the popular pavilion in Minneapolis.
Credit: MPRB
The new concept for the pavilion at Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis parks board has unveiled a new plan for the popular pavilion on the shores of Lake Bde Maka Ska.

The restaurant that was previously on the spot, Lola on the Lake, burned down on May 16, 2019. A Minneapolis man faced a negligent fires charge in the incident, after surveillance video showed him dumping hookah embers behind the trash cans. The entire structure was torn down 12 days after the fire.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) paved over the pavilion and invited food trucks in as a temporary fix that summer and fall.

On Thursday, the MPRB published a "preferred site concept" to replace the pavilion. According to the board, the new plan is based on public feedback they've been getting over the past several months. The entire slideshow depicting the concept has been posted online here.

The proposal includes concessions, covered and uncovered seating, a performance space, a gas fire pit, and seat steps going down into the water.

A public hearing is scheduled for May 5 at 6:30 p.m. People can sign up by noon on May 5 to give a public comment at the meeting by phone. They can also email comments to opentime@minneapolisparks.org by noon on May 5.

If the concept is approved by the MPRB planning committee after that public hearing, it will likely go before the full board on May 19. Construction could start in 2022, with concessions resuming by the 2023 season.

According to the MPRB, construction will be funded by the insurance compensation from the fire and regional park improvement funding. Parks staff are exploring other options as well.