Longtime North Loop cafe Moose & Sadie’s has closed.
In an Instagram post Tuesday night, owners Peter Kirihara and Susan Muskat wrote, “With immense sorrow, we have closed our doors for the last time. The economic impact of this crisis was just too much for our small business to overcome.”
Moose & Sadie’s opened in 1991 at 212 3rd Av. N. as a coffeehouse and quickly became a popular outpost on the fringes of what was then the Warehouse District. The surrounding blocks later evolved into the North Loop and the area became a dining, shopping and residential hot spot.
Kirihara’s enterprise was part of a wave of next-generation coffeehouses (Muddy Waters, Caffetto, Cafe Wyrd, Dunn Bros., Uncommon Grounds, Espresso Royale, Caribou Coffee) that were popping up in the Twin Cities in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Fifteen years ago, Kirihara, always an innovator, partnered with Birchwood Cafe veteran Susan Muskat, and the M & S kitchen became a pedestal for her hugely appealing breakfasts and lunches, featuring such popularly priced staples as cornmeal pancakes, huevos rancheros, tuna melts, black bean burgers and BLTs. Muskat is also a skilled baker, and she filled the case with an ever-evolving selection of pies, muffins, scones, bars, cookies and other creative and lovingly made temptations.
Kirihara, working with other partners, also developed several other properties in the neighborhood, including Bev’s Wine Bar (250 3rd Av. N.) and the now-closed Jetset bar. In 2017, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges dedicated a day to Kirihara for enriching the North Loop neighborhood.
“Peter brought imagination, and it’s the imagination that makes the city great,” she said at the time.
The restaurant is named for the niece of Kirihara’s former business partner Lisa Chen (Sadie) and a beloved dog of Kirihara’s (Moose). A portrait of the two of them graced the premises, for years.
The counter-service institution was blessed with a kind of a fairy godmother in the form of Kirihara’s mother, Lucy Kirihara, who was a presence in the dining room about once a week.
Her warmth and industriousness clearly rubbed off on her son, who embodies the kind of energy and drive that’s personified in the age-old restaurant saying, “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.”
Rick Nelson • @RickNelsonStrib