The Greatest Restaurant That is No More 

**Stained glass in the balcony**

In the winter of 2016 I was sent to Minneapolis Minnesota for work. It was cold, horribly horribly cold, like negative 12 degrees cold. I was in the process of buying a house and moving with my husband and being sent out to what was basically Antarctica for my mild weather loving PNW self was not exactly what I wanted to be doing.

**Carved glass pendant lights**

 

But there was a small little beacon that cheered me up, a coworker who knew my obsession with Art Deco architecture took me the Il Foro. A newly opened Italian restaurant and bar in the historic Forum Cafeteria.

**Is that not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?**

 

The Forum Cafeteria was originally built in 1914 as a part of the Sax Theater. The building continued to change hands over the years, in 1930 the interior was updated with a Minnesota themed Art Deco interior including pine cones, trees and waterfalls.

**Viking motifs painted on beveled wall mirrors**

 

I spoke with one of the employees at Il Foro and he mentioned that at some point in the buildings history the building itself was set to be condemned but the cafeteria interior and façade was already on the national historic registry.

**Carved bakelite wall sconces**

So before the building was torn down, a team was brought in the map and document every single bit of the interior, which was then carefully removed, stored and eventually rebuilt in it’s new location. The façade however, is still missing somewhere in a storage facility under the city.

 

**Onyx pillars and pine cone carved tiles**

 

 

**Look at the corner**

 

I was so in awe of the Bakelite wall tiles, carved motifs, matching wall sconces, chandeliers and beveled mirrors I spent the entire evening just wandering around taking pictures. Thank goodness it was a slow night, otherwise I would have been all up in everyone’s space.

 

**Look at all those lights!**

 

 

**Can we just get a little zoom on these bakelite tiles**

Sadly and perhaps because they were nearly empty on a Thursday night, Il Foro closed it’s doors recently. I honestly do not know why, the food and service were excellent. However I have read a few articles about the construction of the building exterior and seemingly non spectacular façade making walk in traffic low.

**Carved trees and pinecones in onxy bakelite**

I am sure another restaurant will open in the space, it is after all protected by the national historic registry and should remain safety preserved no matter what businesses fill it’s space.

**This is just the banister to the balcony staircase**

 

If you ever find yourself in Minneapolis and want to see if another establishment has opened in the location, you can find it a 40S Seventh St. Minneapolis Minnesota.

 

**Just one more time for good measure, I swoon**

 

Questions:

Have you ever had the pleasure of seeing the interior of this building. What iteration of it’s life was that? Or if not are there any amazing art deco architectural gems near you?

 

 

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