Cooper Pub at the West End, owned by the Cara Restaurant Group is in the midst of transitioning to The Local West End under the stewardship of chef Vincent Francoual. A sibling restaurant to downtown’s long-established Irish pub, The Local, this would be the first step in an ambitious expansion plan that could result in up to ten more Locals. The Local opened in 1997 and has become a fixture for its cozy nooks, and Irish fare. The company, which also includes The Liffey and Kieran’s Irish Pub was founded by Kieran Folliard, who left the Cara group in 2011. It was a surprising move when Francoual joined the group back in 2016 after the shuttering of his eponymous; beloved French fine-dining restaurant. According to the company, the move was fortuitous and the restaurants have thrived under his culinary direction.
Ryan Cook and Jamie Malone have been reunited as Malone welcomes Cook as executive chef at Eastside in downtown Minneapolis. Malone is the nationally celebrated chef behind Grand Cafe in Minneapolis who took over Eastside in downtown Minneapolis early this autumn. Eastside has slowly made the transition from its old menu to an exciting update with oysters, roast meats for sharing and elegant without being fussy dishes that Malone is known for. The two originally worked together at Sea Change inside the Guthrie theater.
Lowertown’s hard-to-pronounce cafe Hygge is getting an overhaul into a full service restaurant with a full bar according to the Pioneer Press. The name is still to be determined, but chef Lucas Almendinger, who made a splash at The Third Bird will be in the kitchen.