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Brit's Pub reopens after being destroyed during civil unrest in downtown Minneapolis

An iconic Twin Cities restaurant is back in business less than a year after it was destroyed in last summer's riots.

MINNEAPOLIS — For the last 31 years Brit's Pub has been a downtown Minneapolis institution.

"There’s been weddings, birthdays, christenings, funerals, everybody’s got a Brit’s story," said General Manager Shane Higgins. 

Yet Brit’s story nearly came to an unfortunate end back in August, after video of a man committing suicide, while being pursued by Minneapolis Police, went viral. The video led many to believe it was police who killed the man and that misunderstanding led to businesses downtown being torched and ransacked. 

"There was fire, there was looting, things destroyed such as seating, drapes, computer systems, things taken off the wall," said Higgins. 

For the last seven months, Higgins and his team have been pouring their heart, soul, and hundreds of thousands of dollars into writing this new chapter of Brit’s story, keeping the institution’s legacy alive. 

"Damage assessment, cleanup, refurbishing the place, retraining a bit and new systems to learn and then here we are today," said Higgins. 

A day when much of downtown Minneapolis looks a lot different than it did seven months ago, as many businesses have either relocated or closed for good. 

"I'm glad that these guys stayed open I mean because it’s a fun place we go all the time," said Nathaniel Shochatovitz, as he drank a beer out on the Brit's Pub terrace. 

"We just hope to get a bit of a snowball effect and encourage more people to open and get some of the big businesses back and we can just hope," said Higgins. 

With a pandemic still looming, and the potential for more unrest in the wake of the Derek Chauvin’s trial, this institution’s story will live on despite the odds against it. 

"There’s absolutely always a worry, but we’ll just have to wait and see I mean we’ll take advice from police and authorities, keep an eye on the news. Hopefully there isn’t any unrest," said Higgins. 

Brit's Pub plans to be open Thursdays through Sundays with the hopes of expanding their schedule in the summer. 

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