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.


  1. Jason Walker

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

  2. HungryinSW

    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.

  3. marianne

    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.

  4. Lynne

    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!

  5. Kat

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

  6. James Norton

    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

  7. Lolie

    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.

  8. Gina

    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.

  9. Teresa M

    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.

  10. Amalia

    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!

  11. Alex B.

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

  12. John

    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.

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