Going to the Gopher

The Gopher Cafe’s 9th and Hennepin location put the eatery in the heart of the Minneapolis theater district. The restaurant had a informal modern atmosphere featuring cozy booths, a swivel chair lunch counter and a swanky cocktail bar with an entrance on 9th Street. The Gopher’s digs are probably better remembered as Duff’s Bar. Originally opened up on 8th Street, the owner, Joe Duffy, made the spot a popular hangout for sports figures and journalists in the 1960’s. After Duffy retired, the club was purchased by Bob McNamara. In 1977 after the building on 8th burned down in a Christmas Eve fire, McNamara moved the business into the old Gopher Cafe at 829 Hennepin Avenue. In the early 1980s, The bar became a rocking and rolling local music venue. After Duff’s closed, the building at 9th & Hennepin was demolished and replaced by the LaSalle Plaza in 1991.

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