Bellecour, Gavin Kaysen’s French restaurant in the lakeside city of Wayzata has permanently closed. The James Beard Award winning chef made the announcement that his second eatery was devastated by the pandemic. The restaurant had only recently reopened at the end of June, only to close again two days ago after a team member tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement, Kaysen said in part, “As the days and weeks have gone by, we have realized that in a location that is so dependent on seasonal success we are losing more than we can sustain. When the pandemic came, it was just as we were gearing up for the season, and our ability to bounce back has been extremely limited.”
Kaysen’s other restaurants, Spoon and Stable and Demi will continue to operate. There is also a popup at the North Loop location of Cooks of Crocus Hill that is selling Bellecour’s beloved baked goods.
Bellecour opened in the spring of 2017 inside a historic restaurant on the main drag of Wayzata, a monied Minneapolis enclave on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. After extensive renovations, the eatery opened selling French bistro foods, with a full bar, and a gorgeous little bakery up front selling Diane Moua’s famous croissants, as well as baguettes, coffee, and other treats.
It was Kaysen’s second restaurant after opening his first, Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood. The Minnesota native had returned to the state after years of working around the country and in New York City, most notably at Daniel Boulud’s Cafe Boulud.
In its time Bellecour drew celebrity diners and wide praise. The Star Tribune’s Rick Nelson rhapsodized in his four-star review, “You think you know bouillabaisse? Not until you’ve immersed your taste buds in the Bellecour version, its saffron-fueled lobster-shellfish broth as complex — and as dizzyingly gratifying — as a Bach oratorio.”
Like many other eateries, the restaurant closed on March 15 as the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Minnesota, ahead of the governor’s sweeping closure of all restaurants for dine-in services. In the time since, there has been take out, baked goods, coffee, and sandwiches, before opening reservations again for dinner beginning June 30 and brunch July 5. On July 14, the restaurant discovered a team member had tested positive and the restaurant announced it would close for a deep clean and reflection. At 5:30 on July 16, the restaurant announced its closure.