Andrew Zimmern was in town Super Bowl weekend for a massive party that appeared to hint at plans for a restaurant to come in the future. The celebrity chef was proud to share his adopted hometown with the world, whirling around events all weekend and stumping for the Twin Cities at every opportunity. The James Beard Award winner and television personality hosted his own party Friday night that he called Lucky Cricket — and it sounds like his future restaurant could end up having that same name.
After the evening, the Mpls/St Paul Business Journal reported that Zimmern would be opening a Minneapolis restaurant of that same name, though couldn’t get the chef’s team to reveal any details. Also of note: there’s an ad for an Executive Chef position for Lucky Cricket that names Andrew Zimmern as the head of the company, but the job has been posted for some time now, over 20 days. In part the ad teases, “Our goal for Lucky Cricket is ambitious, creating world-class Chinese cuisine in a raucous and thrilling environment.” The project is being co-run by Zimmern’s Passport Hospitality group and McDermott Restaurant Group that operates Tavern 23 (the erstwhile Lou Nanne’s), Rojo Grill and Randle’s Sports Bar.
But, before anyone starts making plans for reservations, Zimmern’s representation at Brooks Public Relations basically advises everyone to pump the brakes. Brooks told Eater that Lucky Cricket is not a certain future. “It’s definitely not confirmed.”
It would make sense that this project might be the anchor restaurant waiting to go in at the Dayton’s Project, a massive food hall and retail space set to revitalize downtown’s historic department store, where there is room for a restaurant inside the former JB Hudson part of the building.
Meanwhile, back to that party — fom 10 pm to 3 am the Maison in Uptown was transformed into Lucky Cricket. Celebrities like Tom Colicchio, Adam Richman, Guy Fieri and more milled around the room enjoying the sweet 80’s rock of the Spazmatics while servers passed around Chinese take-out boxes of Asian noodles, a meatball with black bean sauce and more eastern-inspired dishes. Members of Zimmern’s catering and food truck business, AZ Canteen, were also on hand.