Broadway Pizza owner considers “repurposing” the property

Built in 1974, the Broadway Station Pizza restaurant located near the Mississippi has long received interest from developers due to its proximity to the river.  Photo by Abdi Mohamed

Built in 1974, the Broadway Station Pizza restaurant located near the Mississippi has long received interest from developers due to its proximity to the river. Photo by Abdi Mohamed

By Abdi Mohamed Staff Reporter

Future changes may be coming to the Broadway Station Pizza restaurant located on West River Road in North Minneapolis if development plans go well, say its owners. On July 11, the restaurant’s owner, James Kruizenga, told North News he is in the process of investigating ways to “repurpose” his business.

Kruizenga indicated he is working with a development company (who he was not willing to name) to help him assess his building and could possibly make a decision in the next year as to what he would like to see in the space if he were to sell it. He shared that he would like to see something beneficial go into that property for the North Minneapolis community, potentially affordable housing. When asked why he is exploring new options for the site, Kruizenga pointed to the age of the building, which has been in place for over forty years. “We’re definitely in a situation where the building is getting old, but it’s a great piece of property,” he said on July 11. “Quite frankly, what we’re really looking at right now, is the company’s looking at some affordable housing on that unit which would be a wonderful site for North Minneapolis to have right there on the river.”

Kruizenga has served as the CEO of Broadway Bar & Pizza since 1991 after purchasing it from the original owner, Eddie Peck, who founded his business on the Northside. Kruizenga owns the Northside restaurant along with a few other locations of the franchised business. According to Kruizenga, the location on the riverbank is still “quite dynamic” and has a large volume of sales which might explain why some are surprised to hear that Kruizenga is considering closing it. When North News called the River Road restaurant, the manager who answered seemed to be unaware of the changes that could come to their location and deferred questions about their future to the corporate office.

The lack of awareness is likely because Kruizenga and the developers he’s working with are in the early stages of exploring a plan to repurpose the site. He stated that it would be a year until he had clear insight as to what would go into the space if he were to shutter the business on the riverbank.

Randall Winger, the Chief Financial Officer of Broadway Pizza, confirmed this possible change with North News on July 15. However, Winger also left open the possibility that the business could continue to operate if the development planning process failed to yield better options. “If the whole project we’re looking at doesn’t go through, then no. It’s an established business and would continue to operate as is,” said Winger. Both Kruizenga and Winger have been keeping their cards close as to the definitive future of the Broadway Pizza location in North Minneapolis.

Although there are a lot of moving pieces, Kruizenga is optimistic and hopes to see something good come of the location if the business were to move on. “I’m kind of excited about the possibility of driving by it in a couple years and be proud of what we put there for North,” he said.

Abdi Mohamed