Owners of store in George Floyd Square sue Minneapolis over lost business

A scene outside of Cup Foods with the George Floyd mural
A man walks past a mural of George Floyd outside of Cup Foods, now known as Unity Foods, at the intersection where Floyd was murdered.
Tim Evans for MPR News 2022

The owners of the corner store where George Floyd allegedly tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill before his killing by a Minneapolis police officer are suing the city for more than $1.5 million.

The plaintiffs argue that five businesses owned by the same family at the address of Cup Foods have been financially harmed due to Floyd’s killing by then-Minneapolis employee Derek Chauvin. The businesses in the suit include Cup Foods, Menthol Tobacco, Southside Electronics, NMA Investments and 3759 Chicago Ave., LLC. 

A spokesperson for the city of Minneapolis said they’re aware of the lawsuit but have no comment. An attorney representing the plaintiffs did not respond to a request for comment. 

The business argues that customers were deterred after city officials’ decided to install temporary concrete barriers near the site from June 2020 until the following year. 

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“The barricades redirect vehicle traffic and public transit away from plaintiffs’ property, prevent vehicles from easily accessing the intersection in front of plaintiffs’ property, and prevent vehicles from accessing parking spaces in front of plaintiffs’ property,” according to the filing. 

The plaintiffs also say crime allegedly caused by the city’s failure to provide police protection in the area has led to fewer customers and a decline in property values, arguing that “the police only responded to the most serious calls and actively avoided the area,” leading to what they call a “no go zone.”   

They claim the businesses have lost a total of $1.54 million due to the concrete barriers, including $753,000 for their electronics business and $474,000 for their tobacco business located in Cup Foods. 

Cup Foods received a $50,000 forgivable loan from the city in 2021. In total, the city has awarded $1.5 million in forgivable loans to businesses at the intersection, which is referred to as George Floyd Square, in addition to other economic support in the neighborhood.

Cup Foods is located at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis. The intersection has been partially occupied by activists since Floyd’s killing more than three years ago.