The Perkins on First Avenue in Shakopee will close June 23 at 3 p.m., according to Juan Rodriguez, one of the restaurant managers.
Rodriguez said the lease on the restaurant is up, and its owner has chosen not to renew it.
Perkins & Marie Callender’s Inc. has put itself up for sale, according to a restaurant industry report. City Planning and Development Director Michael Kerski said the family that owns the site has been discussing redevelopment and reuse options with city staff.
Since the 1980s, Native American burial sites have been identified in the area of Perkins, Dangerfield’s, and Taco Loco — and other businesses — along First Avenue, Kerski said. But contrary to some rumors floating around on social media, that’s not why Perkins is closing.
Much of the area surrounding The Landing at the Minnesota River Heritage Park are known archaeological resource areas. When developers built in this area, some of those resource areas and burial mounds were disturbed, Kerski said.
“A new development built today would need to take into account the potential of these resources,” Kerski said.
Kerski also said Dangerfield’s is up for sale because the owner is hoping to pass the baton to someone else, not because it’s on an Indian-sacred site. However, Dangerfield’s Owner Gus Khwice said the restaurant is not currently for sale, and neither is Taco Loco.
“I’ve gotten over 50 calls from people today asking if we’re closing,” Khwice said. “We are not for sale. Nothing is changing.”
Kerski said the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community was not interested in purchasing property or any other business in the area, because “they’re not in the business of running people out of business.”
“The tribe said, ‘We don’t buy something to displace people, because that’s what you did to us,’” Kerski said.
A tribe spokeswoman disputed that, but declined to comment on the record.