“We always imagined we’d use this for art displays,” said Nikki Klocker, Grand Cafe’s chief of operations referring to the new eye-catching window display created by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater.
Klocker along with chef Jamie Malone have created a blush pink oasis of casual elegance inside the South Minneapolis restaurant. Since taking over from previous tenants, the restaurant has garnered rave reviews for French cuisine, fine wines, and divine service. The duo have always played close attention to artful details, from the vintage crystal serving pieces, to the silver trays food is delivered upon, to the must-follow Instagram account that encourages us once a week, “It’s Friday, Act like it.”
All day long, people stop to peer inside the window and watch the new movement inside the display, a plush dog replica of the restaurant, where pampered pooches dine, sip, serve, and cook just like the people inside. One lone cat peruses a menu.
Klocker said that she and Malone approached the theater and asked them if they’d be interested in creating something for the restaurant’s window. She said they spoke at length about the restaurant, looked at the menu, and even discussed a serious love of Wes Anderson movie sets.
What resulted was a recreation of the restaurant down to impressive minutiae with animated details. Dogs seated at the bar wag their tails ever so slightly as they go in for a kiss. Peas on a cheese tray seem to dance. A host reviews the reservations on the books, all with Fluffybottom-type dog names.
The kitschy little scene calls to mind the old Dayton’s 8th floor displays during the holiday season.
In the Heart of the Beast is a theater in Minneapolis’ Powderhorn neighborhood that is known for creating outstanding works with puppets made from found, recycled, and repurposed items.