The revamped Hygga will re-open as Elephant Bar in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood tonight with chef Lucas Almendinger leading the kitchen. The menu will be New American cuisine with a liberal use of Middle Eastern and Asian spices. The restaurant will open today at 5 p.m. tonight and serve dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Breakfast and lunch service will eventually be added.
Elephant Bar’s actual bar will sport a cocktail menu from Earl Giles, the beverage company formed by notable barmen Jesse Held and Jeff Erkkila. Held was up until recently the beverage director for Jester Concepts, but left to focus on Earl Giles.
The restaurant originally opened as Hygga at 213 East 4th Street, by owner Nabeel Ahmad, who closed that cafe last November and soon after partnered with chef Almendinger to redevelop it as Elephant Bar in the hopes of capturing attention in the restaurant-dense area.