Something new is on the menu for Twin Cities restaurant duo Adam Eaton and Laurel Elm — a share of ownership in Meyvn, the highly anticipated wood-fired bagel eatery.
Eaton and Elm, in a first for the industry veterans, are partners with equal-equity stakes with restaurateur Tim Niver in Meyvn, the deli and bar opening this month in Minneapolis’ Lyn-Lake area.
The three have worked together since 1985 at St. Paul’s acclaimed Saint Dinette, with Eaton as executive chef and Elm as general manager.
All three will maintain a presence at Saint Dinette while launching Meyvn. They previously worked together at the former Strip Club Meat & Fish in St. Paul.
“The three of us complement each other really well,” said Elm, who completed a “long road” in graduating last month with an MBA from Hamline University. “The three of us knew we wanted to be partners.”
The venture resonates personally with Eaton, whose Jewish heritage inspired the concept.
Meyvn, the Yiddish spelling for maven, means expert or connoisseur.
Eaton fell in love with “northwoods-y” wood-fired bagels two years ago during a trip to Montreal with fiancée Elm.
Q: What does being an owner mean to you?
Elm: I’ve always managed like an owner. I’ve always considered what’s best for the business not just myself. It’s a little bit about putting my money where my mouth is.
Eaton: You definitely look at this differently. I’ve been a part of opening a number of restaurants but it’s different when you’re an owner. Every decision feels massive.
Q: What will make Meyvn successful?
Eaton: We want to be consistent. We want to have a small enough menu that it’s easy to execute. We’re not a one-thing operation. It’s cool if you’re able to walk up to our counter and order a Reuben, some oysters and frozen yogurt.
Elm: The way we take care of people is unique and thoughtful and genuine. Our ability to balance that care with systems and efficiency and understanding that people want to get in and out fast, they want to be taken care of but want to do it their way.
Q: How do you approach work as a couple?
Elm: There’s a balance. There are pluses and minuses but I truthfully think that together he and I are stronger than we would be individually.
Eaton: It definitely has its challenges but it’s really rewarding to connect and have multiple relationships with the same person. We started dating in the industry and working together so it hasn’t been any different along the way. There are just more challenges, bigger moves that we’re making together and learning how to deal with those things.