Downtown Minneapolis Restaurant News

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
minntransplant
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby minntransplant » October 18th, 2012, 7:39 am

Aville_37 wrote:So I guess Azia on 26th and Nicollet won't be reopening...
Not true from what I can tell. I live nearby and frequent that intersection almost daily. Signage is up, construction is done, furniture is in, etc. On Sun evening I saw workers hauling accessories/lighting into the restaurant. Seems like it could be open any day now.

PhilmerPhil
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby PhilmerPhil » October 18th, 2012, 8:15 am

Azian Market (26th & Nic) will open, but not under Tom Pham's ownership.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby seanrichardryan » October 18th, 2012, 8:18 am

Aville_37 wrote:So I guess Azia on 26th and Nicollet won't be reopening...
Sounds like he sold it to a straw buyer to continue the scam. If you read the local press, thanks to his careful hyping of Azia Market, you would think it is already open.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

Tyler
Foshay Tower
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby Tyler » October 18th, 2012, 8:34 am

I like Tom. But maybe I'm a lifelong hood as well? I'd say let's see where this ends up before trashing the guy but what do I know.
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John
Capella Tower
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby John » October 18th, 2012, 9:26 am

Tyler wrote:I like Tom. But maybe I'm a lifelong hood as well? I'd say let's see where this ends up before trashing the guy but what do I know.
He may have some mental health concerns that precipitate some of his self destructive behaviors and actions. He has so much talent and creativity for conceiving good restaurant concepts. He should continue to that aspect of his professional career, and leave the financial side ect. to someone else.

mnmike
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby mnmike » October 18th, 2012, 9:46 am

Tyler wrote:I like Tom. But maybe I'm a lifelong hood as well? I'd say let's see where this ends up before trashing the guy but what do I know.
With all due respect...he has had plenty of chances to prove himself, but just keeps doing shady things. I used to defend him to some degree too, but I have kind of lost respect for him.

Tyler
Foshay Tower
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby Tyler » October 18th, 2012, 10:00 am

mnmike wrote:
Tyler wrote:I like Tom. But maybe I'm a lifelong hood as well? I'd say let's see where this ends up before trashing the guy but what do I know.
With all due respect...he has had plenty of chances to prove himself, but just keeps doing shady things. I used to defend him to some degree too, but I have kind of lost respect for him.
You're fine mnmike. I don't even disagree.... I guess it's just the one comment by web which I think is out of line.
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5th Ave Guy
Landmark Center
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby 5th Ave Guy » October 18th, 2012, 12:08 pm

I don't think this closing is bad at all. It was a poorly run establishment, owned by a bad business owner. What's left is a space that is in better condition than before they renovated it.

Someone who runs a legitimate business and is a good restauranteur should have a better shot at moving in and having success. Sometimes sub par places need to shut down...this was one of those times.

SixOneTwo
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby SixOneTwo » October 18th, 2012, 12:28 pm

The former Wondrous space needs to be split into two. Its too big and too L-shaped.

I don't see any restaurant being successful here, in its current configuration, but I would love to be proven wrong.
Last edited by SixOneTwo on October 18th, 2012, 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

5th Ave Guy
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby 5th Ave Guy » October 18th, 2012, 1:01 pm

Yeah, I think that would help a lot. I think the bar part of Wondrous, the part they were using at the end, is a pretty good setup.

1200onthemall
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby 1200onthemall » October 18th, 2012, 1:25 pm

Below is text of an email that was sent out today about Smack Shack.


Do we ever tire of restaurant drama in this town? Can we just stop nibbling the ends of our fingers as we drive by under-construction joints waiting to see if perhaps they might be secretly open? The answer is no, because we’re hungry.

Maybe one of the MOST driven-by and peeked-in places is Smack Shack which told us we’d be lounging on the loading dock deck with our lobster boil by the end of August. Well, that didn’t happen. What did happen was a lot of learning about soil compaction and potentially sinking footings and how different contractors work differently. Needless to say, there was a stop in construction that put Josh Thoma and crew off schedule, but the good news is that it’s moving again.

With the whole management crew already on staff, the menu has been largely figured out in their kitchen lab (a.k.a 1029 Bar). And here’s a sneaky peek for you: it’s loaded with things like southern fried oyster sliders, smoked duck poutine, those freakishly awesome mini lobster corn dogs that ran from the truck during the fair, a hot buttered rock shrimp roll, a halibut cheeks po’ boy, all this and more plus a boil every night. Super tip: bits of the menu have been rolled out for testing on the unsuspecting public at 1029 as nightly specials, so if you want an advance look, belly up.

I dipped into the warehouse space on 6th & Washington in the North Loop and saw the structures that will hold the huge pot for boils, which will anchor the room. The bar will have it’s own area right up in the front, along with a wheel of fortune and (hello) pull tabs for charity, and will open to the dock/patio area that runs along the side. From the heavy, old garage-style doors to the brick and rough beam ceiling, much of the space is going to stay the way it is. This isn’t going to be white-tablecloth lobster eating, it’s going to be checkered tablecloth lobster eating, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

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woofner
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby woofner » October 18th, 2012, 2:25 pm

everyone wrote:blah blah Tom Pham's a goon blah
If every shady, greedy, or twitchy restaurant owner, manager, or chef were banned, we'd all go hungry. And I can't live without my steak tartare and my truffle fries cooked in duck fat.
"Who rescued whom!"

seanrichardryan
Capella Tower
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby seanrichardryan » October 18th, 2012, 7:31 pm

The far end of the Wondrous space to the north was once a Subway back in the day when la cucaracha was still down there. Three storefronts facing Hennepin could fit in there easily.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Cyclotron
City Center
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby Cyclotron » October 19th, 2012, 9:34 am

redisciple wrote:And I can't live without my steak tartare and my truffle fries cooked in duck fat.
That may be the whitest thing ever.
The greatest danger of bombs is in the explosion of stupidity that they provoke. - Octave Mirbeau

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woofner
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby woofner » October 19th, 2012, 11:04 am

Cyclotron wrote:
redisciple wrote:And I can't live without my steak tartare and my truffle fries cooked in duck fat.
That may be the whitest thing ever.
Hey you can't replicate steak tartare at home - it takes years of culinary training to add salt & pepper to ground beef, form it into a patty, and not cook it. I suppose I could put duck fat in my Paula Deen though - gotta learn to make do.
"Who rescued whom!"

5th Ave Guy
Landmark Center
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby 5th Ave Guy » November 1st, 2012, 10:33 am

I don't know if it's a restaurant or not, but there's a new Tequila bar in the old Howl at the Moon space on 1st Ave. Did a quick Google search and couldn't find any info on it.

SixOneTwo
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby SixOneTwo » November 1st, 2012, 11:30 am


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Nick
Capella Tower
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby Nick » November 10th, 2012, 7:13 pm

I like how snarky this is :lol:
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Viktor Vaughn
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby Viktor Vaughn » November 26th, 2012, 11:57 pm

I was walking by Tom Pham's Wondrous Shuttered Azian Kitchen today and thinking about how a restauranteer's loss can be a city's gain. Whatever you think about Mr. Pham or his restaurants, he drastically improved that space. His kitchen equipment can be repossessed, but the leasehold improvements he made to the space will be lasting. First on my list is the transformation of that important corner spot from a cavern into being very open to the street. The windows open enough to make eating inside seem like a dinner on the patio and brings a lot of life to the street.

Of course a shuttered restaurant doesn't help the city, but I can't help but think that same space is now available to the next entrepreneur for a lot less money. I'm sure the landlord can now charge higher rents thanks to many leasehold improvements made by the last tenant, but it has got to be less than the debt service to make the improvements from scratch. So if an investor, or series of them, pours money into a space, and then loses their investment or defaults on their financing, it's terrible for them and their lender, but could actually shift the economics of a project into workable territory for the next business owner.

This is my hope for the late Forum space in the City Center. A poor soul dumped his retirement into beautifully restoring that art deco icon, and went bust because he didn't know how to run a restaurant. Isn't it a huge advantage for someone else to come in and pick up where he left off?

Or Block E could be another example. The previous owners paid too much for it, so they could never afford to stay current on their debts and put enough money into the place to turn it around. By realizing a huge loss by selling it to Alatus it gives the economics of the project an opportunity to work. Reportedly, Alatus can cash flow the project off the revenues from the parking ramp alone. That has to allow them to profitably redevelop in ways that the previous owners could not.

So I have a few questions for the rest of you about this idea.

1) Is there a term for this in finance, develop, or urban planning jargon? If not, would you like to make one up?

2) Do you think I'm overstating the benefits of previous tenants improvements? It seems like new restaurants start from scratch anyways. Such as Bellanotte to Kieren's, Independent to Republic, etc. If it's a sleek club, they tear it out for worn wood look, or tear out old wood paneling for something more modern. For example, how much did the quick series of restaurants in the Devil's Advocate space on 10th St piggyback off of previous tenant's improvements? How much did they rip out to make it their own?

3) Do you have any examples where a business owner's failed gamble made a successful business possible for someone else down the road?

Tyler
Foshay Tower
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby Tyler » November 27th, 2012, 9:52 am

Pham made some changes but it was the folks associated with Musashi who sunk an absolutely inordinate amount of money into this place. I think the work they did absolutely paved the way for Zake and Wonderous to open and it's got to be much more desirable at this point than before any work was done.

I wonder how easily this thing could be divided up? It really is a huge space which not many can make work.
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