Heidi’s Restaurant and Blackbird Cafe Fire

A fire caused extensive damage to the Heidi’s Restaurant and Blackbird Cafe building at 50th St. and Aldrich in Minneapolis. The building is owned by Patina. According to Heidi Woodman of Heidi’s, the blaze started in her restaurant as a grease fire that migrated into the building’s duct work. Woodman added that everyone got out of the building uninjured.

Minneapolis diners know Heidi’s and Blackbird as being among the city’s top destinations for sophisticated dining. Chef Stewart Woodman of Heidi’s was named today as a semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation Award, one of the country’s highest gastronomic honors.

WCCO is offering live feed from its helicopter. As of 2:58pm, the latest shots show the entire building in flames. BringMeTheNews.com has links to other media.

As of 3:25pm, it appears from WCCO’s live helicopter feed that the roof is gone and most of the building is destroyed.

Read James Norton’s note Blackbird and Heidi’s, After the Fire.

Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table

Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table

Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table

Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table

Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table


Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table


Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table


Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table


Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table

Read James Norton’s note Blackbird and Heidi’s, After the Fire.

Facebook Comments


About the Author

Kate N.G. Sommers

Visit Website


  1. This depresses me more than words can explain. Such a crappy day.

  2. Jason Walker 02/18/2010 Reply

    Bad news … that corner is such a great one. Let’s hope they’re able to survive and rebuild.

  3. Crap. A friend works at the Blackbird. And today is her birthday. What an unhappy birthday present.

  4. This breaks my heart. Two of my favorite places and Shoppe Local next door just opened. I hope I can do Blackbird for lunch and Heidi’s for dinner the day they reopen.

  5. Mark my words. Heidi’s will rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes.

  6. How absolutely devastating. My husband and I had the Chef Table and it was beyond amazing. This is so sad, my heart goes out to the Woodman’s.

  7. Heartbreaking. I hope it’s confirmed that no one in the building was hurt. Please let your readers know what we can do to help!

  8. I’m just sick. We’ve been having breakfast every Sunday at Blackbird & love it. I hope Chris & Gail can bounce back from this

  9. Your neighborhood loves you. Please let us know how we can help.

  10. We’ll be in touch with both restaurants to see if there’s anything all of us in the local dining community can do. This is a bad day for anyone who loves food in the Upper Midwest. But also hopefully the first day in an ongoing and total recovery for both restaurants.

    James Norton
    The Heavy Table

  11. Devastating. Chris and Gail poured their heart into Blackbird. They are two of the most dedicated, motivated, hard-working and pleasant people I’ve ever met. Not only that, their food was glorious. This isn’t the end for them…they are just too good and talented to let this be their fate.

  12. I am so sad for everyone involved, but Blackbird has my heart. I will be in line on the day they re-open. Gail and Chris and the whole staff made it one of the happiest places in Minneapolis, and one where I felt completely at home.

  13. How awful! Yes, please let us know what we can do.

  14. Teresa M 02/18/2010 Reply

    Wow, what a total disaster. Two great restaurants snuffed out in one sad afternoon, and the Shoppe Local and Patina are great losses as well. Let us know what we can do to help. Crap.

  15. The fish with parsley and mussel foam at Heidi’s the best dish in Minneapolis.

    Sad day.

  16. Amalia 02/18/2010 Reply

    I grew up in this neighborhood, loved this block, ate at Heidi’s and loved Stewart and Heidi both! Chef Woodman was my chef at my very first restaurant job in minneapolis. How can we help! If there was ever a better neighborhood to help rebuild! Good luck Lynnhurst, I will be thinking about you!

  17. Alex B. 02/18/2010 Reply

    Maybe they can rebuild with a less suburban form, i.e. with some apartments or offices on stories above the retail.

  18. This is very sad. I hope they will be able to rebuild. We just lost a wonderful restaurant to fire http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/facebook/6868131.html here in Houston, but on the bright side, Brennan’s just reopened after burning down during Hurricane Ike in September 2008 http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/facebook/6868131.html

  19. Terrible news, Heidi’s was one of my favorites. Hope they bounce back quickly.

  20. Of course, I used to slyly show up at Gail and Chris’s house about 5:30, returning a tool, bringing gossip, just a ruse to see what was cooking. I am delighted they found so many friends in Minneapolis; we’ll all be there for the re-opening, even if it’s in Hopkins.

Trackbacks for this post

  1. […] Photos and information on the Heidi’s Restaurant and Blackbird Cafe fire. var addthis_pub = "heavytable"; var addthis_options = 'favorites, digg, delicious, stumbleupon, […]

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by interactthis: RT @heavytable: Photographer @katiebips took this shot of the fire at Heidi’s, Blackbird and other establishments: http://bit.ly/byGYFl More info soon….

  3. […] “Fire Destroys Five Business in South Minneapolis.” Heavy Table has the story and photos from the fire. The next door Blackbird Cafe was also destroyed (and now I can’t get the Beatles’ […]

  4. […] there’s a silver lining to yesterday’s fire, it’s this: while the incineration of Heidi’s and Blackbird was a monumentally depressing event, it was mercifully free of death or injury. We’re lucky […]

  5. […] More photos from the Heidi’s and Blackbird Fire var addthis_pub = "heavytable"; var addthis_options = 'favorites, digg, delicious, stumbleupon, twitter, facebook, reddit, more'; var addthis_brand = "The Heavy Table"; […]

  6. […] the impermanence of all things. In the afternoon there was a devastating fire in the Lynnhurst neighborhood of Minneapolis, destroying a corner that had been home to several popular, locally-owned […]

  7. […] James Beard Award semifinalist for best Midwestern chef, Heidi’s Restaurant was destroyed in a terrible fire.  We were so shocked and sad to hear this news, since Heidi’s was one of our favorite […]

  8. […] done a drawing of the Blackbird Cafe a while back because it’s a cool place. Well, sadly, it burned down recently—such a drag, but I started getting messages from people requesting prints of the […]

  9. […] under which my family eats, i.e., every single night. You see, this is the book Woodman wrote after Heidi’s burned down. Without a professional kitchen to cook in for the first time in decades, he turned to the […]

  10. […] NG Sommers brought us some heartbreaking images from the Heidi’s / Blackbird fire, which unfortunately, was just the tip of the iceberg in 2010 — there was also a serious fire […]

  11. […] says Woodman, referring to the changes that stemmed from the events of February 18, 2010, when a fire tore through and destroyed Heidi’s, the restaurant he opened in 2007, the one named after his […]

  12. […] like for a restaurant to come back from the dead. I’d make a phoenix joke here, but given the circumstances, that seems inappropriate. Speaking of resurrections (and fire, come to think of it), we also bring […]

  13. […] in the Feb. 2010 fire that destroyed both restaurants and three other stores. Related: Our initial notes and photographs from the blaze, and our post-fire reviews of the new Blackbird and the new Heidi’s. » In the […]

  14. […] surprising, as George and the Dragon occupies the rebuilt corner that famously burned while housing Heidi’s and Blackbird. For two years, the Malt Shop diner was the only option for […]

  15. […] Fire destroyed two of South Minneapolis’ culinary gems. Blackbird and Heidi’s were a complete loss. This was especially unfortunate because both had received serious accolades. But both vowed to […]

  16. […] next day, a grease fire that began in the Heidi’s kitchen ravaged the building that housed both that restaurant and […]

  17. […] like for a restaurant to come back from the dead. I’d make a phoenix joke here, but given the circumstances, that seems inappropriate. Speaking of resurrections (and fire, come to think of it), we also bring […]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *