The most interesting restaurant opening of the spring has been the developing saga of a little neighborhood eatery committed to being entirely kosher and animal product free. Today, we’ve received confirmation that J. Selby’s, the plant-based restaurant on the corner of Selby Avenue and Victoria Street in St. Paul will re-open later this week.
The restaurant first opened on April 21 and then abruptly made the decision to halt just days later, just before what would have been its first brunch service because of its overwhelming popularity.
Owner Matt Clayton said, “ We had set up the restaurant with the idea that we'd be serving 250-300 discrete diners on a daily basis and it turned out we were serving 700-800. Our infrastructure was not able to take that much pressure and we were at risk of coming apart at the seams. By the end of lunch service on Friday we were out of 10 menu items and there was no clear way we were going to be able to prep them for the dinner service Friday, nor get ready for the brunch service Saturday, the dinner service Saturday night, the brunch on Sunday, etc.”
So, they made the tough decision to close the doors and re-group. Since then, tweaks have been made to the menu and several new staff members have been added. Said Clayton, “[We] added more than a dozen staff members, made changes to run our kitchen 24 hours a day.” Additionally, part of the kitchen has been remodeled to accommodate a salad service station. “I can say that no one associated with the J. Selby's project has left [or] moved on.”
Perhaps most surprisingly in this age of Twitter complaints and Facebook rants, the response has been incredibly positive. Nearly all the posts to J. Selby’s social media outlets have been supportive, both from people who have dined there and those that are still patiently waiting their opportunity to visit.
So, when is that re-opening happening? We’re betting you’ll be eating those frozen soyclones before this weekend rolls around.