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Chef Justin Sutherland Steps Away From the Handsome Hog

After seven years at the helm of the Southern-style St. Paul restaurant, Sutherland is moving on

Chef Justin Sutherland, wearing a dark blue hat, dark blue collard shirt, and jeans, sits with his elbows on his knees, looking past the camera, in the interior of a restaurant with dark leather booths and greenery hanging from a wood ceiling.
Sutherland’s newest restaurants include Big E and Northern Soul.
Courtesy of Justin Sutherland
Justine Jones is the editor of Eater Twin Cities.

Chef Justin Sutherland is leaving St. Paul’s Handsome Hog, the Southern-style restaurant he helped open in 2016, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine reports. Sutherland had planned to buy out his partners with the Madison Restaurant Group — which he rose to the top of in 2018, overseeing its slate of St. Paul restaurants — but, according to MSP, that plan didn’t pan out.

“We’ve been trying to find a way to make it work for everybody, but as we look ahead to a fresh new year, it’s clear to me that it’s time to make a fresh start,” Sutherland told the magazine. “I’m so proud of what we created with that place, the commitment to food that feeds your soul, and making a space where people in the Black community feel welcomed.” Sutherland confirmed with Eater that he’s no longer affiliated with any Madison Group restaurants, including Ox Cart Ale House, Gray Duck, and Public Kitchen and Bar.

Sutherland’s latest restaurants include his egg sandwich shop Big E, with locations in Portland and St. Paul, and Northern Soul, another Southern-style restaurant with locations at MSP Airport and Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota. Both are under full ownership of Sutherland and his father Kerry Sutherland, according to Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Sutherland also hinted at new restaurant plans for downtown Minneapolis, though no details have been given yet — in the meantime, he’s keeping busy with a number of TV projects, following a Daytime Emmy win for his YouTube series Taste the Culture.

Update: January 9, 2024, 11:40 a.m.: This article was updated to include details on Sutherland’s status with Madison Restaurant Group at large.

Handsome Hog

173 Western Avenue North, , MN 55102 (651) 219-4013 Visit Website