Restaurant owner sounds off after closing shop in Minneapolis: ‘Democrats are afraid of the woke mob’

The owner of Wild Greg’s Saloon in Minneapolis is closing the doors… the latest casualty in a deep-blue city controlled by progressive, woke leaders who have all but destroyed the city’s hospitality scene.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

Crime runs rampant in Minneapolis and residents are reportedly afraid to leave their homes. COVID restrictions have also contributed to the death of many businesses and those endeavors that have survived are fleeing the city.

Wild Greg’s Saloon was once a popular nightclub in downtown Minneapolis that could hold as many as 1,000 people. Since 2020 when the pandemic hysteria swept the nation, the establishment has not turned a profit. Urban noted the growing divide between blue cities where businesses are failing and the thriving hospitality scene in red states such as Florida.

“Minneapolis is a ghost town,” he told Fox News Digital on Monday in an interview. “We’re in much better shape being closed than being open. We stopped the bleeding.”

“There was a lot of time, pride, and effort that went into this place,” he sadly lamented.

Urban also owns Wild Greg’s Saloons in Austin, Texas, and in Pensacola and Lakeland, Florida. All of those businesses are thriving.

When COVID restrictions and lockdowns hit the restaurant and entertainment scene in Minneapolis in March 2020, along with the riots in the summer of 2020, it gutted the industry there.

During the riots, a great deal of downtown Minneapolis was vandalized. Crime has not abated in the city and has effectively killed off downtown businesses.

“We haven’t turned a profit since February 2020. The city has never recovered. And now there is shooting after shooting,” Urban told Fox News.

Regardless of the crime spree, the city almost voted to defund its police department in 2021. Now, they have a shortage of cops when they need them the most as many have retired or moved elsewhere over the harassment they have faced from liberal leaders.

Not only is crime a problem, but so “is the perception of crime” that encourages people to stay away, Urban noted.

“There is crime near our Austin location, too,” he stated. “But when people step outside, they see cops on the street and know that somebody will be there to help them if needed.”

Minneapolis’ hospitality scene is in serious trouble. The number of daily diners has dropped an average of 54.3 percent from July 2019 to July 2022. That means there’s less than half the number of people eating out than there was before COVID hit, according to data from restaurant reservation service OpenTable. Minneapolis has the dubious distinction of having the worst COVID recovery rate of any city in the world.

The story is entirely different in cities in Florida. The average number of people dining out across Florida in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, and Tampa has jumped nearly 30 percent from July 2019 to July 2022, according to OpenTable.

Urban’s nightclubs reflect those trends. Business at his two Florida nightclubs is up about 30 percent over the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Before he closed his club down in Minneapolis, business was down “in excess of” 50 percent since 2020.

Urban is on the city council in Minneapolis and he’s running for mayor in nearby Vadnais Heights. He’s also previously sued the city’s mayor over restrictions.

The nightclub owner is blaming local politicians, including Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, for excessive mandates and restrictions due to COVID, and for anti-police policies.

The politicians, especially the Democrats, they’re afraid of the woke mob,” Urban asserted. “They don’t want to do anything to cross the mob.”

He was forced to lay off 30 people when he closed the bar. They found out that they no longer had jobs Saturday night when it closed. The displaced employees join approximately 25,000 other people who have now lost their jobs in Minnesota clubs and restaurants according to Hospitality Minnesota.

“About two-thirds of restaurants took on debt during COVID and the average amount was $500,000,” Hospitality Minnesota spokesman Ben Wogsland told Fox News Digital.

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