It was April 14th 2014 when the news broke that the grand dame of Grand Avenue eateries had been purchased by Kevin Fitzgerald and Josh Thoma of Smack Shack along with chef Jack Riebel, the culinary mastermind who long-ran the kitchen at the Dakota and opened Butcher & the Boar to much acclaim, people collectively lost their minds. The restaurant would be run by top chefs who have deep roots in the capital city; Riebel grew up just a few blocks away. These guys grasp the history of the area and space, but also have proven success in serving the modern diner.
And then, the project dragged on... and on.
In the long years since, much has happened - the building’s infrastructure was re-enforced, an event space on the second floor was made safe for large groups of people to dance in tandem without worry of the ceiling caving in, the basement was dug out - it was an extensive amount of work to get the building up to standard.
Meanwhile, all involved also worked on projects outside the Lexington. They first came together, along with others for Il Foro. An Italian beauty inside City Center’s glittering Goodfellows space that shuttered in May 2016. In April 2016, Fitzgerald and Thoma opened a second Smack Shack in Chicago.
All the while, the question remained, what about The Lexington? After many months without movement or report, hopes had dimmed that we would ever get to see the grandeur of that bar and dining room again.
Well, today folks, there is hope: perhaps our most hopeful sign of the new year, a Craigslist post is soliciting servers for The Lexington.
The ad reads in part: “The ideal candidate will be able to provide a dining experience to guests which distinguishes our restaurants as an upscale, casual eatery known for both excellent food and service. Looking for someone who can provide a superior guest experience while greeting and establishing rapport with the guest.”
What exactly is an upscale/casual eatery? Who cares! It’s St. Paul. We love to mix our crystal with casual wear. We won’t jinx this good news by pushing for an exact date, but we did receive confirmation that yes, this ad is real and yes: The Lexington will soon be serving again.