Chef Alex Roberts plans to open his third Brasa location near 46th and Bryant in South Minneapolis. The South American soul food eateries, known for slow-roasted meats and comforting sides, currently has two other locations. One is a former service station in Northeast Minneapolis and another on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. The expansion plan comes on the heels of threats from a proposed Lunds & Byerly’s grocery store on Grand that would include razing the St. Paul Brasa, along with other nearby buildings.
This new Brasa will open in the former Studio 2 Cafe location at 818 West 46th Street, near the intersection of 46th and Bryant. The address housed Java Jack’s and the original Rustica Bakery. Construction is expected to begin within the next few weeks with a summer opening planned.
In addition to the same indoor/outdoor dining vibes and menu, this new location will allow for larger catering order capacity.
Roberts has been carefully deliberate about growing Brasa as a mini-chain, despite its success. The first location opened in 2007 in Northeast Minneapolis, sourcing its ingredients from Robert’s father’s Minnesota farm. Dishes like slow-roasted pork, collards, rice with beans, and creamy green sauce were instantly popular. The Grand Avenue location opened in 2009.
Then, despite the success of both, Roberts decided to hold off expanding despite the success of these, and his flagship fine dining Restaurant Alma.
In April of this year, Lunds & Byerly’s purchased a plot of land that includes the former Restoration Hardware building and announced plans to build a new grocery story on the site with underground parking and apartment buildings above it. It was a shocking plan for a small business-focused neighborhood that already struggles with parking availability and congestion.
Right now the two businesses are sorting out the future of St. Paul’s Brasa through the court system.