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.

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Kate N.G. Sommers

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

  2. Jason Walker 02/18/2010

    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. geoff 02/18/2010

    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. Sarah 02/18/2010

    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. Lolie 02/18/2010

    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. Gina 02/18/2010

    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. Josie 02/18/2010

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

  14. Teresa M 02/18/2010

    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

    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

    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. John 02/18/2010

    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.