Metropole Hotel, 1972

July 8, 1972

The old Metropole Hotel on Lake Avenue South closes for good today, leaving only main floor businesses. (News-Tribune photo)

These excerpts are from the article that accompanied this photo:

The Metropole Hotel at 105 Lake Ave. S., described by owner Melvin Gallop as the "biggest third-class hotel in town," will close its doors permanently at noon today in belated compliance with a Minnesota Department of Health ruling.

Gallop was ordered at a hearing June 21 to remodel the 69-year-old Metropole to meet state standards by July 1 or to shut down, which left his more than 50 full-time tenants just 10 days to locate other suitable low-cost accommodations. …

"Most of our guests have found places to stay in town and within two or three blocks of the Metropole," Gallop said. "But they’re amazed, because most of the places they went to are more expensive and the conditions are worse." …

Gallop’s primary gripe was the thoroughness with which the state group checked his hotel before the shutdown order.

"Two months before the check, we passed the city fire inspection, but probably only the Radisson could have passed the test the state put us through." …

"None of the people that left here went with relatives and none left with friends," Gallop said. "All their friends were right here at the Metropole." …

The Metropole Bar, Joe Huie’s Cafe and a barber shop, all operating in the same building as the hotel, are not affected by the shutdown.

Unless the street numbering has changed, an address of 105 Lake Ave. S would place the Metropole where Interstate 35 is today… so I assume the building is long gone. Does anyone know for sure?

12 Responses

  1. Doreathea Albin

    My mom used to talk about Joe Huie’s all the time. How she and her grandparents would drive at 2 or 3 in the morning just for some shrimp! We lived on Lake ave East and 5th street and I remember seeing him taking his afternoon walks. Always dressed well and walking slow with his hands cupped together behind his back. Every time I saw him I would wave and he would smile and wave back. I lived in St. Paul and one of my favorite restaurants on University ave just happens to be owned by some of Mr. Joe’s relatives. I’ve been meaning to stop in at chopsticks and now i really have to! Maybe i can convince someone to make some of those famous shrimp that i’ve heard about for almost 40 years!

  2. funkyjohnhuie

    this discussion is awesome. Joe Huie was my grandfather. unfortunately, Joe Huie’s Cafe closed a long time before I was able to go and visit. I saw the original sign up in Grandma’s. My uncle, Wing Ying Huie, opened the Chinese Lantern, with great success (i remember a wall of pictures of all the famous people that have stopped by), however, it burnt down and my uncle and aunt used that opportunity to retire. Now, my other uncle and aunt own Huie’s Chopsticks Inn. That’s still there in Duluth. Good thing is, my dad, Joe’s son, who worked at Joe Huie’s as a teenager, still makes me Joe Huie’s shrimp from time to time! Thanks for remember my grandfather so well!

    1. Tim

      I was a bit young, but do recall, Joe Huie’s having grown up on 1st Ave East. I had long moved on since Huie’s Chopsticks Inn. However, I’m just the right age to recall more than one enjoyable evening at the Chinese Lantern.

    2. Laura Curtiss Palmer

      My mom used to take us to Joe Huie’s when we were kids and I’ve never forgotten those incredible shrimp and still remember how they tasted now. I have spent hours over the years trying to find the Joe Huie’s secret recipe that so many claimed they had back then. Just last year I found one of Joe’s menu’s on Ebay, in brand new condition and purchase it just for the memories. I don’t have it with me right now but if I remember correctly in the menu the Fried Shrimp are at the bottom of the second page and listed at only $2.85. I would still give just about anything to try those again, better yet find the recipe! :o) I remember Joe, and just about everything about the cafe. Wonderful memories! Thank you to Joe and the whole Huie family!

  3. Kathie

    Joe Huie’s was where I first developed a taste for Chinese food. Now, I go to one of the Chinese places and it feels like the food is too fresh looking and the fried rice is way too light colored.
    My friend and I used to go to Joe Huie’s and split a plate of chop suey, just to watch the bar closing crowd come in.
    Jade Fountain had the closest thing to Joe Huie’s deep fried butterfly shrimp.

  4. Carolyn

    The sign in the window actually read “lost key, we never close”. The sign became part of the memorabilia of Grandma’s Canal Park restaurant and was located above the bar. I have not seen it there for many years and have always wondered where it went. Joe Huie’s was a favorite place of mine. My girlfriend Julie and I would go there before our 3pm jobs from high school in the late 60s. Our favorites were fantail breaded shrimp, fried rice and egg foo yung. I have never found any that could come close to how good they were!

  5. Chris

    I’m to young to actually remember Joe Huie”s, but I’ve heard so many stories about the place over the years. My dad apparently was painting the kitchen ceiling one day while the restaurant was still open, I guess they weren’t willing to shut down for anything. So they were scraping the accumalated grease and grime off the ceiling before painting and a chunk of it fell into one of the pots of sauce cooking on the oven. The cook just looked up and continued stirring the sauce.

    And going back to an earlier post on the Chinese Lantern. Wasn’t the Lantern owned by Joe Huie’s son Wing?

  6. Les Locklear

    Yes, Joe Huie’s was open 24 hours for many, many years, Great for late night or early morning fried rice!

  7. Ron

    Wasn’t Joe Huie’s open 24 hours. I remember a sign in the window “Lost key—must stay open”. When the restaurant closed there was an ad in the paper “Lost key found—will now close”

  8. Patt J

    And the loss of Joe Huie’s . . . a crushing blow to my shrimp habit. Life hasn’t been the same.

  9. dave

    Lake Avenue was a viaduct over Michigan St, and over the railroad tracks where the freeway is now located. These entrances were up on the viaduct, and there were some businesses located down on Michigan St. Everything on the lower side of Michigan St. from 1st Ave West eastward was torn down for the freeway.

Comments are closed.