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Tim Niver to Open Casual Italian Restaurant in St. Paul

A red-sauce style restaurant is planned for a cozy restaurant space.

Tim Niver remains devoted to Saint Paul with new plans
Tim Niver remains devoted to Saint Paul with new plans
Stephanie A. Meyer

When the sold sign went up, the West 7th neighborhood was immediately abuzz over who would claim the long vacant restaurant at 786 Randolph Avenue that last housed Cafe Tava and before that Mildred Pierce Cafe. Today, Tim Niver officially confirmed that he would be transforming the beleaguered space into his latest restaurant project.

The new eatery will reach back to Niver's Italian roots and serve no-frills classics, a stark contrast to the newest wave of upscale restaurants like Monello, Il Foro and Parella also pulling inspiration from that part of the world.

The restaurant space is cozy, with just 50 seats and won't be serving cocktails, something the other restaurants have built a reputation on. Simple beer and wine will likely be on the menu. In fact, simplicity seems to be the dominant theme. The plans are for a neighborhood hangout, not a splashy, headline grabbing project.

Tim Niver is also the owner, along with chef J.D. Fratzke, of The Strip Club Meat & Fish and the newly opened Saint Dinette.