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New St. Paul Restaurant Intends to Build an Answer to Chef Burnout

just/us is a collaborative effort on 7th Street in St. Paul

Figuring out a solution to chef burnout, while still delivering delicious food is the high-minded plan

A restaurant intended to turn the industry on its head has opened in the old Red Lantern location at 465 Wabasha Street North in St. Paul. just/us has its sights set on becoming, “The antithesis to the restaurant industry,” says Nate Docken, the brains behind the project. He partnered with two other chefs—Samantha Roiland and Jesse Hedman—in addition to a few dishwashers and a manager to get the project off the ground.

Citing the high demands placed on chefs and the burnout that often accompanies it, Docken explains that just/us is in part an effort “to figure out what a solution to that looks like” where experimentation is the name of the game.

Patrons can expect everything from pairings to table service to be executed by the cooks and a constantly rotating menu.The plan is to keep things fresh, fun, and exciting by changing things up as they please and featuring chefs from across the Twin Cities, particularly those who might not have another option for experimentation or getting their name out. Just don’t expect to tip—instead of charging gratuity, just/us has opted for a service charge instead which can be shared among all employees just like the restaurant’s profits are

In addition to endeavoring to become a hub for culinary creativity, the team is considering adding a coffee element as well vis-a-vis a partnership with Duluth Coffee Company—“we’d be the first Twin Cities restaurant to have them,” Docken adds.

just/us is currently currently open, but accepting a limited number of reservations for 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. start times on select (often weekend) dates, but has plans for an full board grand opening with regular hours in early March.

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