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Food & Drink

Broadway Pizza Quietly Returns to Minneapolis—Inside an Irish Pub

Sensing a downtown pizza desert, owner Erik Forsberg morphed Dan Kelly's Pub into Dan Kelly's Broadway Pizza.

1:20 PM CDT on October 13, 2022


Coming soon: The trademark model train.

Beginning in 1975, you could count on two things at 2025 W. River Rd. N. in Minneapolis: Broadway Bar & Pizza and the vintage caboose advertising its name.

Late last year, they were both removed to make way for a six-story, 160-unit riverside apartment complex. Built in 1911, the ol’ train car was transported to Chisago City’s Ironhorse Central Railroad Museum, where it's being restored for future foamer enjoyment. “It’s definitely iconic," Broadway owner Jim Kruizenga told KSTP. And, with the ascension of its flagship location to Pizza Heaven, Broadway's 12-resturant metro chain was left with a Minneapolis pie shop.

Until last month, that is. With Dan Kelly's Broadway Pizza, restaurateur Erik Forsberg created perhaps the city's first Irish-'za hybrid concept. Located near Capella Tower at 212 7th St., the pre-prohibition barroom had toyed with different food programs since Forsberg took over in 2016. Nothing really stuck.

"I have a saying: Nobody goes out for Irish, but they sure go out for pizza," he says. "It was kind of staring us in the face the whole time: Why don’t we just make Dan Kelly’s a Broadway? Fast, fresh, right around the corner, near the skyway. It was a no-brainer."

Forsberg—whose dining portfolio includes two Devil's Advocates, Joseph's Restaurant in Stillwater, and, soon, the return of Erik the Red in Richfield—entered the Broadway family in 2020 when he took over the Rogers location. Before the DK's lightbulb moment, he had scouted several potential locations around our pizza-deficient downtown.

“People don’t realize that downtown is a pizza desert. Always has been," Forsberg says. "[Pizza] Luce is your hometown brand in downtown, and we’re going to be the Luce fighter for downtown, I’m afraid. And I love Luce, don’t get me wrong!"

(While broadly true, some indignant readers might be screaming over this Andrea Pizza and Boludo erasure.)

Getting that fighter into shape required a complete overhaul of the Dan Kelly's kitchen—new ovens, hoods, venting. The works, to use a pizza term. The dreaded supply chain didn't make matters easy. "It took four times longer and cost me three times as much money than we anticipated," Forsberg says with a weary chuckle.

Dan Kelly's Broadway Pizza is currently churning out that same thin-crust stuff your uncles munched for decades just north of downtown. "100% the same one you’ve known forever," Forsberg promises. The only thing missing? The signature model trains that zip around every other Broadway location.

“Eventually we’ll have a train up," he says. "I’m excited to build the train—I’ll feel like that’s when we’ve arrived.”

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