The best place to grab an iceberg wedge and a steak dinner on a layover is no more. The airport location of the Minneapolis stalwart Ike’s, on the north end of the Terminal 1 mall, has closed.
Airport representatives confirmed the booth-lined restaurant went dark at the beginning of the year.
Secluded from the rest of the terminal, the classic restaurant felt like a stand-alone spot in which to kick off vacation with a cocktail before ever leaving the ground.
Coming this summer in its place will be The Cook & The Ox, which MSP describes as “an upscale restaurant and bar experience with high-quality, unique fare and excellent customer service that reflects the richness and authenticity of the food of the north.” It is operated by Areas, in partnership with Jack Riebel of the Lexington.
While the menu isn’t finalized, expect the likes of bison meatballs, walleye, wild rice soup and, like Ike’s, steak. Inside, a lightened-up industrial-and-deco-design will meet high-flying swankiness.
“The menu is a serious standout from any restaurant ever developed at our airport before,” said Liz Grzechowiak, MSP Airport assistant director of concessions and business development. “It truly integrates familiar Minnesota ingredients in a way that is unique, diverse and reflective of the region. It will be a higher quality dining experience then we are accustomed to in an airport environment.”
Just upstairs, the golf-themed Champion’s Grille by Ike’s is also slated for a change. It is closing for construction, and will reopen late summer as Ike’s Clubhouse.
The Cook & The Ox is just one of many new additions to the dining scene at MSP. Longfellow’s retro Hi-Lo Diner just opened its airport outpost March 1. Northeast Minneapolis’s Tattersall Distillery has plans to open by July 1, and Japanese street food spot PinKU and the expanding national burger chain Shake Shack are planning to open in Terminal 1 by Aug. 1. St. Paul’s Bottle Rocket is aiming for a Nov. 1 opening in Concourse C. In December, People’s Organic will take over the current French Meadow (next to The Cook & The Ox), and a new food court will open in Concourse A.
View current dining options at mspairport.com/airport/eat-shop-relax