Tim McKee could write the book on how to end an era with class. La Belle Vie has been booked solid every night since announcing the imminent closure. Like sitting shiva, food fans and restaurant family have been making the pilgrimage to shake his hand and say goodbye to the beautiful room. A testament to the good memories and mega-watt talent this restaurant has shared with the dining world, the final meal was auctioned off for the Taste of the Nation Share Our Strength benefit. A holiday party for 50 people inside the hallowed room will have Tim McKee, Shane Oporto, Mike "YC" DeCamp, Jack Riebel, Tyge Nelson, Shawn Smalley, Jim Christiansen, Matt Bickford, Jamie Malone, Adam Eaton, Will Selin, T.J. Rawitzer, Aaron Slavicek, Danny Del Prado and Erik Sather in the kitchen, the pastry station stocked with Adrienne Odom, Nikki Francioli, Diane Yang, Michelle Gayer and Jo Garrison. Front of house will be handled by Matt Anderson, Lorin Zinter, Laurel Elm, Bill Summerville, Craig Coulter, Adam Gorski, Johnny Michaels, Dani Megears and J. Henahan. Before the auction, a humble McKee stood near the stage and attempted to speak over the thunderous applause. The emotional highlight of the evening came as every person in attendance got to their feet - the participating chefs paused their furious cooking, for a standing ovation, honoring McKee.
The winning bid was $38,000 - as organizers pointed out, that's over 380,000 meals for kids that are food insecure.
— After a full-on freak out from local, small business owners - especially some of our favorite restaurants, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has backed off her Working Families Agenda. There will be some serious reconsidering and hopefully compromises.
— The iconic Modern Cafe will re-open as The Sheridan Room. The guys behind the 331 Club, St. Paul Amsterdam Bar and the new Como Dockside Cafe are doing the build-out themselves. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week and maintain the full bar.
— Claddagh Coffee's second shop as opened near Selby and Dale in the old Bars Bakery space.