322 Cedar Ave. So. is an apartment building (or series of buildings) built in 1901.
The first we see of Stefano’s in a search of the Strib is an art exhibit on June 29, 1957.
In July Will Jones made note of the Stefano Players, “veteran University theater performers,” who read plays at the pizzeria.
Jones mentioned Stefano’s often; in October 1957, calling it a pizzeria with its own printing press and theater group. He quoted pithy sayings from the establishment’s newsletter by Tony Mastrey, Rod O’Donnell, and Tom Malthus.
An August 1959 rundown of dining venues published by Jones in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune describes Stefano’s as the “original home of Minneapolis’ would-beatniks. Assorted jazz Friday and Saturday nights. Art exhibits. pizza, spaghetti. Open 5 pm to 3 am.
From the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood Collection, Compiled by Muriel Lee:
Muriel and David Lee moved into the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in 1960. In 1962 the couple bought the buildings at 316, 320, and 324 Cedar Avenue. At the time, two of the buildings housed a bar, whose rent helped cover the deed payments. When the bar closed a year or so later, the Lees decided to re-open the bar in order to continue a source of income. Caesar’s Bar opened in 1965. By the early 1970s, Cedar Avenue was undergoing some drastic changes. Cedar Riverside Plaza, an apartment complex designed by Ralph Rapson, opened in 1973. And the University of Minnesota was expanding to the West Bank. Caesar’s Bar was well-known and liked. The Lees rented apartments above Caesar’s to students and also maintained a garden at 3rd St. and Cedar Ave. David Lee became ill and the couple closed the bar on March 28, 1986. The buildings were sold several months later. David died of cancer in March, 1990.