After several attempts to get her Loring Park restaurant to take off, Twin Cities restaurateur Kim Bartmann is grounding The Bird. According to an Instagram announcement posted this week, the restaurant's storefront is shuttered.
The Bird first opened as Third Bird in 2014, an eclectic, upscale restaurant located just off Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis. In January of 2017, the Bartmann Group attempted a shortlived rebrand as Bearcat, a more casual, bar-focused establishment. By February, the Bearcat concept was canned. In April of that year, the space reopened as Early Bird, a breakfast and lunch restaurant later renamed The Bird.
"Unfortunately, while The Bird was able to finally get off the ground with our breakfast and lunch business combined with being a night-time private party venue, we just didn’t have the capital to make it through another winter," reads the Instagram announcement.
The Bartmann Group owns and operates an impressive portfolio of restaurants in Minneapolis, including Barbette, Red Stag Supperclub, Pat's Tap, Tiny Diner, Book Club and others. According to the post, the team will shift its focus from a brick-and-mortar restaurant to catering and delivery service. "The Third Bird will live on in its digital form," reads the announcement.
The post ends with a heartfelt thank you to staff, farmers and patrons -- "please know we loved serving you" -- followed by a reminder of the challenges many local restaurants face.
"Bartmann Group restaurants will continue to use catering and private events as a strategy to navigate the uncertain restaurant industry landscape. We’ll also continue to apply our placemaking and restaurant expertise to unusual and unwanted locations. Who knows? Bearcat could rise from the ashes somewhere else…"