Downtown Minneapolis Restaurant News

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

Postby Minneapolisite » October 16th, 2013, 6:08 pm

GG's has been closed when I've walked by in the afternoons: I think their hours posted said they close at 12PM for some reason? The interior hasn't made me want to go in: looks like the place was stripped down and some cheap tables and chairs plopped in with a counter. And with The Nicollet down the street and Loring Park Dunn Bros and Espresso Royale just west and north respectively, it's not like it's giving a compelling reason to choose it over the other places, unless it's like that Bashaal Cafe next to the 19 which caters to an immigrant crowd (Somali in this case). Just not much exciting bar/restaurant news in Boring Park.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby twincitizen » October 21st, 2013, 5:02 pm

Did Arone's close? I dunno, never been there.

It looks like Woodbury-based Ray J's American Bar & Grill (think like a non-corporate Ruby Tuesday or TGIF) is now open at 500 Central Ave SE (which, from everything I can tell, is where Arone's used to be). This is their first location besides the original in Woodbury, which has been operating for at least a decade under the Ray J's name.

Source: http://www.vita.mn/food-drink/228095551.html

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby mamundsen » October 21st, 2013, 6:26 pm

They have been working on the building for a few months. Could be a good location if the streetcar goes in...

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby xandrex » October 22nd, 2013, 9:42 am

twincitizen wrote:Did Arone's close? I dunno, never been there.

It looks like Woodbury-based Ray J's American Bar & Grill (think like a non-corporate Ruby Tuesday or TGIF) is now open at 500 Central Ave SE (which, from everything I can tell, is where Arone's used to be). This is their first location besides the original in Woodbury, which has been operating for at least a decade under the Ray J's name.

Source: http://www.vita.mn/food-drink/228095551.html
It opened a couple of weeks ago. I live a few blocks from here and go past it a lot...it has greatly improved the street corner. Arone's was pretty dumpy looking and so closed off. Now there's big windows looking in and it seems much more inviting.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby mplsjaromir » October 22nd, 2013, 9:55 am

From a helpful Yelp review of Arone's Bar
What was interesting about this particular security TV was the aforementioned spider. Hanging still on its web, it was by far the most prominent thing on the screen--positioned direct center, drastically enlarged, way bigger and more in focus than the pair of drunks smoking alongside a parked car in the background. And, awesomely, it was completely embraced by the bar employees and customers. "Whoa, check out that spider," I had said stupidly two seconds after seeing it, and the bartender immediately replied, "Yeah, that's Sally! She's great," as he washed a glass and looked over to see how she was doing.

This was awesome because 99% of the other bars in Minneapolis would have, upon seeing a spider there, immediately freaked out and removed it. "We don't want our customers looking at that crap! Go kill it!" Not Arone's--the spider was treated as if she had a seat at the bar.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby trkaiser » October 22nd, 2013, 10:12 am

Arone's smelled like urinal cakes.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 22nd, 2013, 11:57 am

As long as it's cake...

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby lordmoke » October 22nd, 2013, 2:12 pm


TheUrbanGopher
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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby TheUrbanGopher » October 22nd, 2013, 2:38 pm

I didn't realize how many fast food restaurants are closing/have closed. I suppose the food truck competition really does put a dent in skyway traffic and the brick-and-mortar businesses aren't just complaining.

To anybody who works downtown - are there still long lines for food truck gooduns in the Winter?

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby twincitizen » October 22nd, 2013, 3:10 pm

I guess I was under the impression that most (if not all) of the food trucks did not operate at all in the dead of winter.

Regarding the death of skyway level fast food, as the article mentions, (and I'll add even more) there are numerous thriving Chipotle, Jimmy John's, Subway, D.Brians, etc. type places to eat lunch indoors.

I suspect that some of the big-chain fast food will eventually return to the re-imagined 2nd floor food court of Gaviidae II. I'd be even happier if some of the big-name fast food restaurants made the daring (but survivable) leap down to street level. Similar to the author of the article, Arby's on Marquette is the only one I can think of, off the top of my head. Like how is there NOT a McDonald's on Nicollet Mall? The death of the 4th floor Gav II food court should be celebrated.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby Viktor Vaughn » October 22nd, 2013, 3:15 pm

Business Journal wrote:The McDonald's is one of four eateries closing in the State Fare food court this month due to changes planned at 555 Nicollet Mall, the four-story building attached to RBC Plaza, according to a statement from building owner KBS Realty.
Note that Gavidae is closing the fourth floor food court and moving select tenants to retail spaces on the skyway level. I'm guessing McDonalds isn't exactly in their vision for a revamped mall.
TheUrbanGopher wrote:I didn't realize how many fast food restaurants are closing/have closed. I suppose the food truck competition really does put a dent in skyway traffic and the brick-and-mortar businesses aren't just complaining.

To anybody who works downtown - are there still long lines for food truck gooduns in the Winter?
As a downtown worker bee, it appears to me the food trucks have not subtracted from skyway lunch options at all. Vacancies are quickly filled with new offerings. The bricks and mortar lunch spots that people see value in have long lines out the door everyday, whether chains like Chipotle or independents like Skyway Wok. Food trucks have been eating into the business of skyway spots, possibly even pushing the worst ones out of business. But most are renewing their efforts to compete, which is great for consumers, as many have long been "coasting on convenience".

I'd love it if mainstream fast food restaurants were pushed out of the downtown market by consumers seeking out actual food instead of the food-like products McDonalds is slanging.

In previous years, the food trucks have not been downtown during the winter. They do make the regular brewery rounds in the winter, and it wouldn't surprise me if a few food trucks tried to make a go of it on milder winter days.

Edit: Twincitizen beat me to it.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby sushisimo » October 22nd, 2013, 3:26 pm

I'm only lamenting the loss of that Bayou ? place in that food court. I didn't see anything mentioned in the article about them. Maybe they are already gone.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby MNdible » October 22nd, 2013, 4:47 pm

So, I guess this means that downtown Minneapolis can finally go ahead and declare war on downtown St. Paul.

In all seriousness, I do think there's a place for McDonald's downtown, even if all y'all are too cool to eat there. I'd love to see one located on street level -- maybe the old Musicland space?

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby mulad » October 22nd, 2013, 5:15 pm

All-out war can be avoided because downtown St Paul has two of them. We'll trade you guys one for a Panera.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby Nick » October 22nd, 2013, 6:23 pm

MNdible wrote:So, I guess this means that downtown Minneapolis can finally go ahead and declare war on downtown St. Paul.

In all seriousness, I do think there's a place for McDonald's downtown, even if all y'all are too cool to eat there. I'd love to see one located on street level -- maybe the old Musicland space?
I've long had "4th and Nicollet" McDonald's on my list of business ideas, along with an Uptown Hotel and something that tells credit card companies you don't need three mailings a month from each credit card and then you split the difference they save on postage.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 22nd, 2013, 8:28 pm

All you hear from people who try to revitalize downtowns is "we need more people to support the retail and amenities that make downtowns great", yet as downtown Minneapolis continues to grow at record levels retail continues to vacate the premises. What gives?

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby theroose » October 22nd, 2013, 10:29 pm

Speaking of food courts there is a renovation going on the street and skyway levels of the building at 330 2nd ave s. The skyway level of the building is one of those "eatery corridors" with an Andrea Pizza, Crazy Taco, some hot dog place, and a couple asian style places. It is being turned into more of an actual food court like you would see at a mall (where the eateries are counters surrounded by shared seating). They are done with one section of it and it actually opens up the skyway level pretty well from what it was. As for the street level? I have no idea what is going in there but people are working on it. Ill snap a few pics when I go through there tomorrow on my way to class.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby jet777 » October 23rd, 2013, 7:16 am

Nicollet is a funny place, because the street and the skyways are an interesting observation of socioeconomic divide. Gerbil tunnels have a bunch of young finance and target middle managers talking about which prekindergarten to enroll their kids in or what trim package their new Hyundai Santa Fe has. Meanwhile the streets have a disappointingly high concentration of begging and loitering. Anyway, the point related to restaurants here is that mcdonalds certainly caters to the latter despite lame efforts to move into fast healthy offerings. I could see one doing okay at street level, but not surprised to see it fail in the skyway. They can blame food trucks all they want, but they offer superior food at reasonable prices (at least reasonable enough to find a a good quantity of customers). The brick and mortar places that also follow this model do well too, as has already been pointed out.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby mullen » October 23rd, 2013, 7:36 am

i think your description of a "high concentration" of begging and loitering is not accurate. if downtown has so many panhandlers there must not have been enough to keep a cheaper fast food restaurant in business.

the point is lots of run-of-the-mill office workers, managers and even executives ate at these fast food places. then we had this food truck boom and the lunchtime landscape was upended. this is just supply and demand. these food trucks are making quality food quickly.

i still see quick food, (fast) food places concentrated in the northstar building. there are varous other places scattered through the skyway system. as noted in a previous post different offerings are coming in, and some are leaving. i just think it's all cyclical.

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Re: Downtown Restaurant News

Postby Wedgeguy » October 23rd, 2013, 8:02 am

I'll put it this way, Why go to Taco John/Bell when you can get real Mexican food for a buck or two more that has real taste and flavor and fresher ingredients. While there is not a McDonald's/Burger King food truck equivalent, There are a lot more tasty option with the food trucks. Another factor we have not really be mentioning is that more people are eating healthier, some bringing their own lunches, some just got tired of the status quo. Our diets and eating habits have changed from a decade ago.


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