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The southwest corner of Lake Street and S. Irving Avenue in Minneapolis has been home to an Italian restaurant for three decades, and that won't change after its current occupant, Amore Uptown, closes Nov. 20.

General manager Tim McHugh informed employees last week that he would be retiring from the business and selling the seven-year-old restaurant.

It already has a buyer in Kim Bartmann, who recently changed the name of her restaurant group from the Bartmann Group to Placemaker Hospitality. Bartmann plans to carry on the Italian tradition, opening an "Italian-inspired" restaurant "as soon as possible." Italian cuisine is in the bones of this address, where it's been serving variations on pasta and sauce for almost 30 years.

"I have always wanted to do an Italian restaurant," Bartmann said in an interview. "I am bullish about Uptown, despite the beating that it takes on a regular basis. And, it's right there."

By "there," Bartmann means across the street from her flagship French restaurant, Barbette. She has operated a business on the northwest corner of Lake and Irving since 1991, when she opened the pioneering Cafe Wyrd.

Back then, on Tuesday nights, she and a friend would head across the street to Giorgio's, on the southwest corner — the spot that is today Amore Uptown.

"We would sit around and solve our problems and solve the world's problems," Bartmann said. "Pretty soon, Tuesday night was a big party in that room, and I have really fond memories of hanging out in there. It's a great corner."

After Giorgio's closed, Jenna and Alejandro Victoria opened Amore Victoria in 2006. They gave the space a warm refresh and expanded beverage options with a full bar. In 2010, they added a rooftop patio that would become a popular summer draw. When they sold it in 2016, the Victoria name was dropped and it became Amore Uptown.

A note on Amore Uptown's website says the closure is not a sad occasion. "We are thrilled to announce that this is NOT another unfortunate closing of an iconic neighborhood staple — just a brief pause, while we welcome new ownership, and give them the opportunity to introduce you to something FRESH, and NEW!!"

Bartmann couldn't divulge more details about the new concept yet, but she says she plans to keep most of Amore Uptown's staff employed through the holidays by having them help on projects to update the interior. She says there will not be major construction.

Bartmann, a 2022 James Beard Award semifinalist for outstanding restaurateur, owns eight Minneapolis restaurants, and is soon opening another, Star Bar, in the newly renovated Hotel Indigo in downtown Minneapolis (formerly the Crowne Plaza).

McHugh has operated restaurants in Uptown for 53 years. "It's a business that I love; the people, hospitality, employees and the community," he said in a statement. "But it's time to spend more time with my family, including my grandkids."

Amore Uptown, at 1601 W. Lake St., will be open through Sunday.