After its April debut was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Grocer’s Table (326 Broadway Av. S., 952-466-6100) is opening in downtown Wayzata on Wednesday.
Over the past two months, owner Lindsay Pohlad has made alterations to her original cafe-wine bar-market business plan. Reflecting restrictions placed on state restaurants on March 17, Pohlad will be emphasizing the market aspect of her enterprise.
The restaurant’s interior has been tweaked to accommodate the change in focus. Banquettes have been replaced with coolers stocked with all kinds of pantry staples, including locally sourced eggs, butter, yogurt and cheese. As for the long communal table that represents the restaurant’s name, “It’s now a really pretty display table,” said Pohlad. “It looks as if we always meant for it to be this way.”
As per current state mandate, on-site dining will be restricted to a newly expanded patio that takes advantage of previously untapped sidewalk footage.
“We have as many seats as we’d initially planned for, but now they’re six feet apart from one another,” said Pohlad. “So we’ll have a pretty robust patio, and that’ll be nice.”
The cafe’s counter-service ordering format will remain. Up to 12 customers at a time will be allowed inside the building to place their breakfast, lunch and/or dinner orders, or to browse the market.
Staffers will deliver food orders to diners choosing to use the patio. Orders can also be placed for curbside pickup and nearby Lake Minnetonka dockside pickup for boats.
In the morning, the kitchen will feature breakfast sandwiches made on house-baked sourdough English muffins, along with toasts using house-baked whole wheat bread, a daily quiche and a six-grain bowl filled with vegetables and a red beet hummus.
Lunch and dinner will feature deli salads, sandwiches, pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven, smoked fish-meat-and-cheese boards and a handful of family-style meals prepared in a range of serving sizes. Sweets include cookies and bars.
Along with the kitchen’s menu, the market’s entire inventory has been placed online for virtual shopping. “You’ll be able to order coffee, or a bottle of olive oil or a cookbook,” said Pohlad. Off-premises alcohol sales will include the bar’s white wine sangria and shrub cocktail mixes.
Pohlad added that the Grocer’s Table will follow now-standard protocols: a separate entrance and exit, disposable menus, cashless transactions, and masked and gloved staffers. She also noted that construction-related road closures on nearby streets are scheduled to end next week, and that an adjacent lakeside park, ideal for outdoor takeout dining, will be available in late July.
Hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
“This opening is as soft as it gets,” said Pohlad. “But I’m grateful that we can have this kind of setup, because there are so many places that aren’t in this same position. Since we can only have 12 people inside at any one time, we’re obviously not going to be able to have a packed house and a bustling environment. It’s less than ideal, but we’re rolling with it.”
Although opening a restaurant during a global pandemic is “surreal,” Pohlad is accentuating the positive.
“I feel that we’ve been stressed and challenged in every way possible before we even opened, so that’s a silver lining,” she said. “I have incredible confidence in my team. We’re all figuring this out together, and it changes every day. We’ve been able troubleshoot together, and we still like each other.”