Brothers takes over Rosens and the Refuge, new name for Downtown Drink

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March 2, 2011
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott
WAREHOUSE DISTRICT — In late February, folks strolling by the side-by-side Warehouse District bars Rosen’s and the Refuge, both at 430 N. 1st Ave., noticed signs on the windows stating that both establishments were “closed until further notice.”

Turns out, Brothers Bar & Grill, the rowdy college hangout that occupies the same First Avenue building, has made a play for the two spaces.

According to Grant Wilson, Minneapolis’ deputy director of licenses, Brothers has applied for “an expansion of premises,” in the hopes of absorbing the Refuge space into its current bar. Rosen’s, as well as the area that used to house District Bar and Grill, will become a new sports bar called Jack’s Joynt.

Owners Marc and Eric Fortney went before the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association board (DMNA) last month, and according to DMNA Coordinator Christie Rock, the board supported a liquor license for the new venture.

In addition to the Downtown location, Brothers operates 15 other locations across the Midwest.

Meanwhile, changes are also on the horizon for Drink, 26 N. 5th St. The bar will soon be known as Uncle Buck’s.

According to Wilson, Drink owners Mike Whitelaw and Thomas Baldwin have reapplied for a liquor license under a new LLC and a different trade name.

Calls are in to Drink general manager Dan DiNovis, but "the original fun bar" is only open Thursdays through Saturday.