If you were to ask Minnesotans where to go to eat the best walleye, chances are you'd hear one St. Paul bar and restaurant named time and time again.

For nearly 35 years, the Tavern on Grand, located at 656 Grand Avenue in St. Paul, has prided itself on serving traditional Minnesota Northwoods recipes to the masses, especially the local’s favorite walleye.

They share online, that "the walleye, Minnesota’s state fish, has been called the best-tasting freshwater fish in North America, if not the world. The Tavern on Grand has earned a virtually undisputed reputation for preparing the world’s finest walleye, serving more than any restaurant anywhere. We invite you to experience this truly unique regional delicacy."

Tavern on Grand was opened in 1990 by David Wildmo, which was also the year when the then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was there for a luncheon with Governor Rudy Perpich. However, because security would not allow Gorbachev to eat at the bar and restaurant, their walleye was taken down to the governor’s mansion to be served. From that day on, the Tavern on Grand has been recognized as “the restaurant that fed Gorby."

It has also been certified by an independent marketing research firm that the Tavern on Grand serves more walleye than any other restaurant in the world, serving up to 2,000 pounds per week.

They not only prepare it, but they do so in amazing ways. The bar's walleye sandwiches, for example, feature a grilled, deep-fried, or blackened walleye fillet that's served on a toasted ciabatta loaf with lettuce, tomato, and a choice of traditional or jalapeno tartar sauce and a side of fries. It was declared the state's best sandwich by Food & Wine Magazine in 2021.

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Sadly, due to what Star Tribune is reporting as several contributing factors such as the end of its lease, a slowdown in business since COVID, steep price increases, a dip in foot traffic on Grand Avenue, and personal transitions for the family members, the iconic bar and restaurant will be closing its doors.

Tavern on Grand made the official announcement Thursday through social media, while also thanking all those it has had the honor to serve.

We are truly grateful to have been able to make our famous walleye and homemade meals for nearly 35 years. This could have only been accomplished with the love and support of our customers, community, and staff. We are thankful to have been like a home to many over the years with memories to last several lifetimes.
The Tavern on Grand will be closing its doors for the last time in early June. So should you join us between now and then to reminisce and celebrate a great run? You Betcha!

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If there's any silver lining to this disappointing news, it can be found in the last line of their announcement when they share that there are still several months left to visit them and enjoy award-winning walleye with great people. Be sure to get there before June!

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