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The Aperitif restaurant in Woodbury has been sold, and will become a Tavern Grill by this summer.

, Star Tribune

Tavern Grill takes over the former Aperitif

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW
  • Star Tribune
  • March 31, 2012 - 10:04 PM

Are you craving a half-pound Angus burger topped with mozzarella cheese, bacon and sliced jalapeños on a ciabatta roll? Or perhaps a pizza topped with scampi shrimp?

The build-your-own menu has been the recipe for success at the Tavern Grill in Blaine and Edina. Now its owners -- Hemisphere Restaurant Partners -- have announced plans to add a third location in the former Aperitif restaurant in Woodbury.

"It's a beautiful space," said Anoush Ansari, Hemisphere's managing partner. "We like second-generation spaces that are still in good shape and don't need a huge startup investment."

Ansari said he expects Tavern Grill to be open sometime in June, once it's "tavernized."

Aperitif opened in 2010 and served Mediterranean fare in a building next to the Sheraton St. Paul Hotel on Bielenberg Drive near the intersection of Interstate 494 and Tamarack Road.

The 10,000-square-foot space featured a large patio, bar and fireplace. The restaurant owned by the Jerry Trooien's JLT Group closed about a year ago because of bankruptcy and a federal fraud investigation.

With its motto "Dream It, Build It, Eat It," Tavern Grill offers more than 1 million combinations of burgers, salads and pizza. "That been our success," Ansari said. "Everybody likes to have it just so."

The restaurant also serves seafood, steak, pasta, sandwiches, appetizers, soups and dessert. Most entrees cost between $8 and $20.

Between 60 and 80 employees will be hired for the Woodbury location, Ansari said.

In addition to the Tavern Grill restaurants, Hemisphere owns and operates Mission American Kitchen & Bar, Atlas Grill and Good to Go Mediterranean Deli in downtown Minneapolis, and the Flame Rotisserie Grill & Bar in Roseville.

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