Big news from chef Erick Harcey. Lots of it.
First, he has quietly closed his Victory 44, his casual restaurant and coffee bar at 44th and Penn in north Minneapolis.
“We have had an incredible run in north Minneapolis and I am so proud of what we have accomplished there,” said Harcey in a statement. “We’re so grateful to the neighborhood for welcoming us and giving us almost 10 incredible years of business.”
That news is a blow to the city’s north side, which has not enjoyed the restaurant boom that has transformed the dining scene across much of the rest of the Twin Cities metro area. It’s also a drag for lovers of great burgers, as Harcey’s aptly named “Perfect Burger” was one for the ages.
Here’s the other major announcement: Upton 43, Harcey’s remarkable contemporary Swedish operation at 43rd and Upton in south Minneapolis, is moving. (The restaurant is pictured, above, in a Star Tribune file photo).
The much-lauded restaurant – it was the Star Tribune’s 2016 Restaurant of the Year, one of the nation’s top 10 new restaurants by USA Today and one of the country’s 21 best new restaurants by Eater – is giving up its Linden Hills address for a new home in – where else? – the North Loop, the metro area’s hottest restaurant neighborhood.
Harcey isn’t ready to announce the exact location just yet.
“We’re still finalizing the lease,” said marketing manager Josef Harris. “We have the space, but we want to make sure that we have all the details nailed down before we announce the exact location.”
This much he will say: the new North Loop location will be roughly half the size of the current 112-seat Linden Hills location.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to relocate Upton 43 to a more dense neighborhood closer to downtown,” said Harcey in a statement. “The new space will be a bit smaller which will allow us to continue to push boundaries in food and service like we always have.”
The last day for the original iteration of Upton 43 will be Aug. 13. Get ready to also say goodbye to the Dirty Bird, the roast chicken takeout counter that’s located in the current Upton 43 building. That concept may return, in a new location.
There’s no date for when Upton 43 will materialize in the North Loop, so fans of Harcey’s Swedish meatballs will have to keep their eyes and ears open for alerts.
“We’ll be starting on construction right away,” said Harris. “We want to make that time as short as possible.”
Harcey’s a busy restaurateur. Two weeks ago, he announced his commitment to open a new neighborhood restaurant in a proposed multi-use complex at 46th and Hiawatha in south Minneapolis. “And no, it won’t be called Hiawatha 46,” he said in a statement.