Uptown Bar and Grill site


A new Apple store and a new Columbia Sportswear store now occupy the site.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) Program staff provided technical oversight of the environmental investigation, cleanup and redevelopment of the Uptown Bar and Grill Site.


The site has been developed since at least 1921, when the restaurant building was constructed. The Uptown was a launch pad for local music talent for many years. Paul Westerburg, Tommy Stinson, The Jayhawks, The Hoopsnakes, Jeff Buckley, the Honey Dogs, Uncle Tupelo, the Flaming Lips, Nirvana, Run Westy Run, Screaming Trees, Bash & Pop and the John Spencer Blues Explosion are just some of the great musical acts that thrilled crowds at this venerable music venue.

Environmental issues and the cleanup process

  • Site soils were contaminated with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
  • The sub-slab soil conditions were unknown at the start of the project.
  • A Construction Contingency Plan allowed for building demolition to take place without further sampling.

Soils were screened as they were excavated and no significant contamination was encountered.

Redevelopment of the site

  • Soils were screened as they were excavated.
  • The site soils were graded and geotechnically corrected.
  • A one-and-one-half-story retail building was constructed and subsequently leased to Apple, Inc. and a two-story retail building was constructed and subsequently leased to Columbia Sportswear.

Environmental and economic benefits

  • This brownfields site was successfully redeveloped with Apple, Inc. and Columbia Sportswear as tenants while making sure the site was environmentally suitable for a commercial/retail use.
  • The current tenants employ approximately 40 workers.
  • The taxable value of the land has increased by approximately $1 million.

Assurances received

September 4, 2009: No Association Determination was issued to UB Assets, LLC.
May 10, 2010: No Association Determination was issued to Apple, Inc.
May 10, 2010: A Construction Contingency Plan Implementation Approval letter was issued.

Institutional controls

Institutional controls were not required for this site.

Project partners

  • MPCA VIC Program staff included John Betcher and Shanna Schmitt.
  • The developer was Jeffery Herman of UB Assets, LLC.
  • The environmental consultant was Aaron Benker of Liesch Associates, Inc.