Santorini's Vacant Building Torn Down, Hotel Will be Built

Updated: 01/23/2013 9:20 PM KSTP.com By: Tim Sherno

Santorini's Bar and Grille in Saint Louis Park opened its doors in 1995, and closed them in 2008. Wednesday, the building was torn down to make way for a new project.

Co-owner Tony Nicklow said watching the building come down was bittersweet; "It's very hard, after all the years and hard work we put in."

Co-owner Bill Nicklow, Tony's brother, says while he was sorry to see the building be razed, the building was still generating expenses in the form of security, maintenance and taxes, "I'm glad this is happening because it's been like this for 4 years, and i feel like we've been paying for a dead horse so to speak. So all good things must come to an end."

Long time employee Kathy Jensen was near tears as the walls came down one by one, "I was there the first day we opened and I was there the very last person to turn out the lights and walk out the door on the last day." Jensen says she'll miss the atmosphere, "It was the greatest place I've ever worked, and I'm going to miss it."

The restaurant sat on 3 acres of prime real estate at the northwest corner of 394 and Highway 169.  Tony Nicklow says there had been a deal in place in 2008 but that when the economy fall apart, so did the development deal.  Tony Nicklow says he hopes to have a new deal for the land inked by the weekend, "The way it looks right now, definitely a hotel, definitely a hotel."