New Nye's bar hopes to recapture old magic

A tribute mural inside the new Nye's bar
A tribute mural inside the new Nye's piano lounge in northeast Minneapolis. The mural features a number of prominent figures from original establishment, including original owner Al Nye.
Mike Moen | MPR News

There's no polka music and the same food isn't on the table. But those longing for the atmosphere of Nye's bar in northeast Minneapolis can rejoice. A "slimmed down" version of the establishment re-opened this past week.

The popular polka bar and piano lounge was in business for more than 65 years before its initial run came to an end.

In 2016, Nye's Polonaise Room closed its doors to make way for a development project. Co-owners Rob and Tony Jacob recently announced a re-built "tribute" to the old bar. It's connected to a new apartment building where the old Nye's once stood.

Entrance to the new Nye's bar
The entrance to the new Nye's bar in northeast Minneapolis
Mike Moen | MPR News

Tony Jacob said while the new Nye's will be just a piano bar, there is a very visbible "nod" to the original place.

"Well, we have a nice mural, we have Al Nye on the wall. We have Ruth Adams, from the polka band, she played here for so many years. We also have Sweet Lou Snider who used to be on the piano for so many years," Jacob said.

In addition to the mural, the original lights were kept and installed in the new bar. And the famous outdoor neon sign from the old Nye's now hangs on the wall next the bar.

The question is, will loyal patrons feel the same magic they once did when the old Nye's brought so many people together for a night of sing alongs and good cheer?

Jacob said they're confident patrons will feel some of that old charm.

"We said let's try put everything in this little place to make them feel at home," Jacob said.

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