The newest restaurant from one of Minneapolis’ most lauded chefs is about to bust open wide for the public in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood. Octo FishBar is Tim McKee’s eighth restaurant and it will open inside what was once Heartland. The room has been refreshed, the bar slightly moved, but the bones of the historic building still feel the same: open, warm and welcoming.
The restaurant will be a casual seafood eatery with plenty of freshly shucked oysters, poke and even some specially sourced seafood that McKee is able to get access to thanks to his partnership with local fish importers, The Fish Guys.
In the kitchen McKee is working with longtime collaborator, Shane Oporto, who was the chef de cuisine at his last restaurant, the white linen pinnacle of fine dining, La Belle Vie. Leading the hospitality front will be Lorin Zinter, who also worked at La Belle Vie and has been running the front of house at the Commodore since it opened.
The bar’s cocktail menu is being written by Erik Eastman of Easy and Company, who also wrote the new drink list over at St. Paul’s Revival (the fried chicken place with the full bar.)
The restaurant will serve mostly fresh seafood, but there will be a couple of dishes to please those who prefer landbound food, like a steak from Peterson Meats.
The restaurant and neighboring Almanac Fish Market are just the first phases to open to the public of McKee’s overarching plan for the space that is known as the Market Collaborative. Peterson Meats will also open a butcher shop, The Salty Tart is putting together a bakery and it was just announced that Birch’s on the Lake will open a brewery inside the space as well.
The new restaurant opens for dinner starting tomorrow, October 10.