clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Hippest Spot of the Early Aughts, Known for Controversial Ad Campaigns, Has Closed

Chino Latino has closed after 20 years in Uptown

The glittering facade of Chino Latino
Chino Latino is done
Chino Latino/Facebook

Chino Latino has closed after 20 years on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown. It was the spot where one might stumble into an underage Lindsey Lohan trying in vain to get served, or clamor with buddies around a crowded table full of dry ice fog belching Comsos, or where one could inevitably wander into the wrong side of the open air semi-unisex bathroom.

When it first opened the restaurant only had a glittering exterior facade and a valet stand that often had high end sports cars parked out front. The restaurant was during the height of power for the Parasole restaurant group, capitalizing on the hit fusion cuisine of the moment. The menu rolled around the globe from sushi to satay to tacos and more.

The red interior of both upstairs and downstairs at Chino Latino, a dark room with tables and clubby lights everywhere
The massive interior of Chino Latino included two levels, with bars, lounges, communal dining, sushi bar, event spaces, and more
Chino Latino/Facebook

Notable Twin Cities’ chef did time in the kitchen, especially while James Beard Award winning chef Tim McKee was overseeing all of Parasole’s restaurant holdings.

Chino Latino also had a long history of running inflammatory ad campaigns that leaned heavily on racist tropes. So much so, that City Pages ranked the Top 10 Most Offensive.

Chino Latino announced the closure via social media, “Chino Latino has been a proud community partner in the Uptown area for over 20 years. We have watched this area grow leaps and bounds, and have been so happy to be able to serve Uptown and the Twin Cities for so many years.”

The restaurant group that owns Chino Latino was once a major force near this location at the intersection of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue. They once operated Figlio, Libertine/Cafeteria, and Chino Latino all located on the intersection. Those restaurants have all closed in addition to several more including Muffuletta, Burger Jones, Mozz Mia, and more. Still in operations across the metro are Manny’s Steakhouse, two Saluts, Pittsburg Blue, Field Day by Good Earth, and the Burnsville location of Burger Jones.

Chino Latino gift cards are redeemable at Parasole’s other restaurants.

Chino Latino

2916 Hennepin Avenue South, , MN 55408 (612) 824-7878 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Twin Cities newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world