There have been rumblings for weeks as to what was going on inside Grand Cafe. The neighborhood eatery with 70 years of history was supposed to close forever on February 5th. Instead of going silent, the restaurant instead played host to a series of chefs who had once worked in the kitchen there, taking nostalgic turns behind the burners and continuing to serve diners. All the while two very well known chefs were preparing to usher the business into a new era. Last night, Jamie Malone and Erik Anderson, both Food & Wine Best New Chefs who have long been working on a restaurant named Brut, announced they have purchased Grand Cafe.
"We are still looking for the perfect spot for Brut, but sometimes you follow that path that life puts in front of you," Jamie Malone wrote in an email. "When we were presented with the opportunity to take over the Grand, we started dreaming about what we can do with it once we applied our creativity and experience."
Malone took over the kitchen at Grand Cafe in December of 2016. In January, owners for the past decade, Mary and Dan Hunter announced the restaurant would close February 5 of this year. That was when the rumblings of a restaurant still open began to surface on social media.
Malone and Anderson last worked together at Sea Change inside the Guthrie Theater. When Anderson left to open Catbird Seat in Nashville, Malone took over to run the kitchen. Each chef won national acclaim running that kitchen. The duo have been working towards the opportunity to open their Brut concept for years, and still plan to at some point.
However, for now, we get to feast on French fare and sip world class wine. Bill Summerville, who opened the wine program at Spoon and Stable and for years ran the front of house at La Belle Vie will be assisting in the project.
"It's exciting for us to think about the idea of walking in to an unassuming South Minneapolis restaurant and being happily surprised by a greeting from Bill Summerville, who will be assisting us to ensure our guests get the best possible experience ( and wine!)" said Malone. Both chefs have classic French culinary backgrounds, while both push boundaries and expectations.
For now, the beloved brunch classics will remain on the weekend menu, with a few added touches from the chefs. Dinner will be driven by French classics made with a bit of a modern technique.
Malone said, "The sweet, and humble, nature of the restaurant will stay, no flash, just a bunch of people who love cooking, wine and taking care of people, working together in a little neighborhood restaurant."