And soon there will be three.
Soigné Hospitality — that’s the formal name for the company behind four-star Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis and four-star Bellecour in Wayzata — is adding a third restaurant to its constellation of Twin Cities dining properties.
Chef/owner Gavin Kaysen (pictured, above, in a Star Tribune file photo) announced that his latest project, Demi (212 N. 2nd St. Mpls.) will be opening in late January in the North Loop, moving into a modest one-story building that's located directly behind Spoon and Stable.
Details on the food are vague, but a promotional video that Kaysen released Monday morning describes the overall focus on “northern, local cuisines.”
“We’re not talking a lot about the food just yet, because we’re still figuring it out ourselves,” said Kaysen in an interview. “That’s part of the evolution of opening a restaurant. We can tease it out as we move forward.”
This much is known: the 20-seat restaurant will follow a tasting-menu format (no price, yet), served at dinner Wednesday through Sunday.
“A lot of restaurants around the country are doing tasting menus that are approachable, and fun, but still carry a level of excitement,” said Kaysen. “We want to try and see if this will work here. It’s all in the timing. A four-hour tasting menu is too long. We want to make sure that if you come in on a Thursday at 8, you’ll be out in 2 1/2 hours. That’s a normal dinner time at Spoon and Stable.”
The street-level space — at 1,200 square feet it’s roughly one-fifth the size of Spoon and Stable — is adjacent to an 1885 former coffee factory that is currently being converted to loft residences.
Construction is underway. As the contractor peeled away walls and ceilings, relics from the Barrington Hall coffee company — coffee tins, financial records — were discovered. Some are being incorporated into artworks for both the restaurant and the loft building.
The location is handy: Demi’s employee entrance is four feet from Spoon and Stable’s employee entrance.
“If a guest is finished with their experience at Demi, and they want to go to Spoon to have a cocktail, we’ll be able to walk them through the back of the house,” said Kaysen. “If it’s bitterly cold — like it was last weekend — they won’t have to walk all the way around the block.”
The restaurant is an opportunity for Soigné staffers to move up the ranks. Spoon and Stable chef de cuisine Adam Ritter will head the Demi kitchen and Spoon and Stable server Tristan Pitre will be the restaurant’s general manager.
The restaurant is being designed by Shea Design -- the Minneapolis firm behind the good looks of both Spoon and Stable and Bellecour -- in partnership with Kaysen's wife, Linda Kaysen.
The Kaysens have tapped a number of artisans for the project. Jackson Schwartz of Minneapolis-based Hennepin Made will be creating dinner knives, fashioning the handles using Minnesota woods. Potters Sam Gordon (he works in Australia) and Ashley Lin of Chicago will be making the restaurant’s tableware.
“We want to show people some of the outside influences that come into play when you’re opening a restaurant,” said Kaysen. “It takes a lot of really creative people.”
Kaysen, a Bloomington native, trained in Switzerland and London and then made a name for himself in San Diego and New York City. He returned to his hometown in 2014 to open Spoon and Stable, and followed up with Bellecour in March 2017. He was named Best Chef: Midwest by the James Beard Foundation in May.