Resilience and Renewal in South Minneapolis

by | Feb 15, 2024 | In the News, Pasta, Pizza

Jakeeno’s Resilience and Renewal in South Minneapolis

For over 45 years, Jakeeno’s Pizza and Pasta has stood as a cherished fixture in the heart of south Minneapolis. Co-owned by Amy and Patty Keegan, the restaurant has weathered the tests of time, embodying a sense of community that sets it apart.

In recent years, challenges have emerged, notably amplified by the restaurant’s proximity to George Floyd Square. Amy Keegan, co-owner, acknowledges the struggle, citing the evolving perception of the area as a significant hurdle.

During a recent Minneapolis City Council meeting, Amy shared the hurdles faced, stating, “I think the perception of what people see when they come into this area is the challenge that we’re definitely facing.”

A considerable factor in their recent struggles is the rerouting of bus routes and traffic away from the area following George Floyd’s tragic death and the subsequent unrest. Patty Keegan emphasizes the impact, noting the absence of the once-thriving foot traffic.

To overcome these challenges, Jakeeno’s has undertaken significant efforts to revitalize and reposition itself. The restaurant’s façade has undergone a transformation, offering a refreshed look to beckon visitors.

Looking forward, Jakeeno’s is set to introduce a bar, a testament to their commitment to providing a welcoming and comfortable space. With plans for a hard liquor license, the owners are poised to enhance the overall experience, awaiting city council approval.

Amy Keegan expresses optimism, stating, “We feel safe and so we just need those people to kind of think outside the box of what their current comfort level is and kind of reinvigorate them coming back into the community.”

As part of their rejuvenation strategy, the introduction of a bar, crafted by a local woodworker, and the addition of TVs aim to create an environment where patrons can linger and enjoy the Jakeeno’s experience.

Jakeeno’s invites the community to see beyond misconceptions, fostering a renewed sense of safety and community engagement. The restaurant remains dedicated to its roots, embracing change while ensuring its place as a beloved establishment for generations to come.