Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
seanrichardryan
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby seanrichardryan » March 16th, 2013, 8:56 pm

Oh, I was driving by there last week. It looks like they are doing some remodeling in the bar area. All of the furniture is moved up into the dining room and mortar and tile on pallets was out front.
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seanrichardryan
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby seanrichardryan » March 23rd, 2013, 7:34 am

Roat Osha has reopened. They were re-tiling the floors.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

lordmoke
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby lordmoke » March 25th, 2013, 10:46 am


John
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby John » March 25th, 2013, 10:54 am

lordmoke wrote:Primebar has closed:
http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2013/03 ... square.php
Not very sad to see this leave. Too chainy. What they really should do is reopen the original Figlio's in the space.

mnmike
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby mnmike » March 25th, 2013, 12:03 pm

Huh, I didn't expect that...I never really thought the place was that good though, and the space wasn't very interesting.

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woofner
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby woofner » March 25th, 2013, 12:35 pm

Most hilarious closing in quite some time:
The Hot Dish received the following tip from a patron of the restaurant: "At about 9:00 p.m. they found out they were getting evicted so they told us all to pay our tabs and leave."
I agree that Primebar was bland and chainy, but I also agree with the guy quoted in the Strib story about drinking in uptown that at least it wasn't very douchey. RIP Relatively Undouchey Uptown Bar
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mamundsen
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby mamundsen » March 25th, 2013, 12:52 pm

John wrote:
lordmoke wrote:Primebar has closed:
http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2013/03 ... square.php
Not very sad to see this leave. Too chainy. What they really should do is reopen the original Figlio's in the space.
The Figlio brand was bought by the CRAVE guys and they opened Figlio 2.0 (nickname) in the West End last fall. I haven't been yet but I have also heard if called "Zombie Figlio" because it is trying to be the original but just feels lifeless.

twincitizen
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby twincitizen » March 25th, 2013, 1:02 pm

I think the near simultaneous openings of Republic (not at all douchey) and Bar Louie (full on Cowboy Slims douchey) had everything to do with this. There just isn't a market for a low-to-mid range douchey bar in Uptown.

This is a great space and I expect something will replace it soon.

John
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby John » March 25th, 2013, 1:18 pm

mamundsen wrote:
John wrote:
lordmoke wrote:Primebar has closed:
http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2013/03 ... square.php
Not very sad to see this leave. Too chainy. What they really should do is reopen the original Figlio's in the space.
The Figlio brand was bought by the CRAVE guys and they opened Figlio 2.0 (nickname) in the West End last fall. I haven't been yet but I have also heard if called "Zombie Figlio" because it is trying to be the original but just feels lifeless.
The original Figlio's had location, location, location. The layout took advantage of the intersection. It was a mid-priced restaurant (with good food) that attracted a diverse clientele. There was a strong street presence along Lake with outdoor seating and large windows that opened up in the warmer season. The lively bar was located near the corner of Hennepin and Lake so the noise and energy spilled over to the intersection, and also as you entered Calhoun Square. Any new restaurant that goes in here would do well to study the original Figlio's use of this space. It was very successful.

MNdible
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby MNdible » March 25th, 2013, 1:45 pm

If they were "evicted", it probably means that the Calhoun Square owners, who likely get a cut of their profits based on the lease, felt that it wasn't performing up to snuff and exercised an out clause.

The biggest issue with this space is the outlandish rent that any user will need to cover.

Chef
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby Chef » March 25th, 2013, 4:11 pm

Figlio was dying when it was closed. Its' problem was that all the people who loved it were no longer young and no longer hanging out in Uptown. The love for Figlio was a product of middle aged people with families being nostalgic for their younger and more carefree days, but they didn't eat there anymore.

Often people will say one thing with their words, but another with how they spend their dollars. It is a common thing in the restaurant business.

Beyond that, the old Figlio space is now probably too expensive for any restaurant or bar to succeed. Calhoun Square's owners have misjudged the market. You pretty much have to be one of the two or three highest grossing restaurants in the state to afford that rent.

John
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby John » March 25th, 2013, 5:39 pm

Chef, I agree the landlord are partially responsible for the demise of restaurants in this space. They are way too greedy and overcharging for this space. However, the design layout of the former Figlio's was much more conducive to attracting people to eat at this location. It was much more open and engaged with the street and intersection.The last couple restaurants really backed away from that and were designed with an introverted scheme. That's the exact opposite of what you should do in designing a restaurant at one of the Twin Cities most bustling intersections!

lewismd
Block E
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby lewismd » March 26th, 2013, 6:54 am

What CAN make it in that space with rent that high? Parasole couldn't make it work, neither could this Primebar national chain... Will it just sit empty until Calhoun Square makes the rent more reasonable?

And Republic opening certainly was one factor keeping me from going there. Why would I go to this bland chain place when Republic is right above it?

mnmike
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby mnmike » March 26th, 2013, 8:37 am

Chef wrote:Figlio was dying when it was closed. Its' problem was that all the people who loved it were no longer young and no longer hanging out in Uptown. The love for Figlio was a product of middle aged people with families being nostalgic for their younger and more carefree days, but they didn't eat there anymore.

Often people will say one thing with their words, but another with how they spend their dollars. It is a common thing in the restaurant business.

Beyond that, the old Figlio space is now probably too expensive for any restaurant or bar to succeed. Calhoun Square's owners have misjudged the market. You pretty much have to be one of the two or three highest grossing restaurants in the state to afford that rent.

I don't know, you know more about the business than most of us on here, but the old owners of Figlio have even been quoted as saying that closing it was one of the worst decisions they ever made.

http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2012/07 ... meback.php
"Phil Roberts of Parasole shared what we all already knew, "Closing Figlio was the biggest ****ing mistake I've ever made in my life.""

The bar was certainly still very popular among my age group(which is far seperated from the "original fans" who look back nostalgically)...but happy hour wasn't what made money. I think it would probably still be there making money if they had revamped it and kept the name and traditions...and from what I have read a few times, it seems like Parasole thinks the same.

As an aside...the right restaurant could do well here. I would argue that in this location, if you are doing everything right and are a great restaurant, there is no reason you couldn't be one of the top 2 or 3 highest grossing restaurants in the state. Not that they aren't charging too much rent...just saying, this is a prime location, probably one of the best in the state...so it would make sense that rent would be one of the highest in the state.

Chef
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby Chef » March 26th, 2013, 10:36 am

The word on the street in the industry was that Figlio's sales were dropping. I don't know if that is true but it is what I heard from reliable sources. If your rent is increased at the same time you can't continue with the status quo. The things restaurant owners say to the media should not be taken at face value, especially with Parasole. They view every media contact as a marketing opportunity. If you say interesting things to the media they cover your restaurants as news and you get free advertising, Phil Roberts is the master of this. If you say things that your old customer base likes they may go to your other restaurants. I think what he really meant was that opening Il Gatto was the biggest mistake they ever made, and that is true - Il Gatto sucked from a price quality standpoint and was a flawed concept in general.

The key to making expensive spaces work is to have a high check average (per customer) and to be busy all the time. A high end steakhouse that does a thousand covers a day attached to a fancy bar would probably make the numbers work. Something like R. Norman/Seven executed at the highest level. Conventional fine dining is too low margin and usually isn't busy on the weekdays. Regular bars or restaurants don't generate enough revenue.

thatchio
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby thatchio » March 26th, 2013, 7:28 pm

The rent for that space is high but it should be fine for a restaurant doing $4+ million a year, if I recall correctly. I think their ticket price was too high for the food, they had poor marketing, an compelling happy hour, and not enough food quality to draw in people.

Given that Calhoun Square is rumored to be prepping to put the property on the market, this closure will likely be problematic. The question will be whether Calhoun Square knew this was about to happen (them going dark or CSQ taking action themselves against the tenant, unlikely) so that they can try to backfill the space as quick as possible. They will not want it vacant if they're trying to sell the property.

That, to me, is incredibly concerning because that may lead to poor tenant selection simply to get the economics work. Let's hope, really hope, that Cowboy Slims/Jacks stays the heck out of the market. That would be worse than a Buffalo Wild Wings, which sometimes seems like a more real possibility every time a restaurant turns over.

ECtransplant
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby ECtransplant » March 26th, 2013, 8:42 pm

Am I the only one that thinks the Burch would have been perfect here? I love that it filled that too-long vacant spot it did, but it's the type of place that could do really well here.

John
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby John » March 27th, 2013, 10:58 am

ECtransplant wrote:Am I the only one that thinks the Burch would have been perfect here? I love that it filled that too-long vacant spot it did, but it's the type of place that could do really well here.
I agree. Something with an urban attitude combined with a home grown flavor. Bringing in another mediocre pseudo-hipster chain would be a mistake.

sam
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby sam » March 27th, 2013, 6:07 pm

It also helps if they charge a bit less then $40K in rent per month

mullen
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Re: Uptown Restaurant News

Postby mullen » April 3rd, 2013, 8:54 am

just odd a chicago based chain can't make a go of it at that corner. business must have been just really slow. rent cant be higher in calhoun square vs a chicago location.

guess it's all in the concept, food, ambience.


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