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Saint Paul’s Riverside Dining Purchased by Zoo Food Company

Red River Kitchen will return this summer, under new corporate ownership

Restaurant owner Matty O’Reilly sold his seasonal businesses to Lancer Hospitality
Red River Kitchen/Facebook

Red River Kitchen at City House with its stunning Mississippi River views will return this spring under new ownership. Matty O’Reilly had told Eater last week that he had downsized several businesses including Spring Cafe at Como Park Pavilion. Red River Kitchen at City House was another one of those businesses the entrepreneur sold to Lancer Hospitality in an attempt to scale back, focus on family, and complete his MBA. City House is a structure on the flood plain just outside downtown Saint Paul. The building had long been vacant, until O’Reilly came up with the idea of being able to pull up kitchen that could drive away when the season was over. It first opened in the fall of 2016 and returned serving lunch and dinner, late spring through fall.

When O’Reilly parked a Red River Kitchen food truck at City House, it was the first business he opened with the culinary acumen of acclaimed chef JD Fratzke. O’Reilly and Fratzke would go on to work on several other restaurants including Spring Cafe, Bar Brigade and Delicata Pizza. Fratzke left O’Reilly’s company in November 2018. O’Reilly also owns and operates Republic, a popular bar; restaurant one the West Bank and at the airport.

Nachos on the river last summer
Red River Kitchen/Facebook

Lancer Hospitality is the North Carolina-based company that provides food services for “cultural attractions, business centers, schools and healthcare facilities.” Locally, Lancer provides the food for Como Zoo, Minnesota Zoo, the Science Museum and more.