When Minnesota's first Four Seasons Hotel opens next spring in downtown Minneapolis, its two street-level restaurants will be created by chef Gavin Kaysen and his Soigné Hospitality Group.
"The combination of Gavin Kaysen and the Four Seasons is really the pinnacle of hospitality," said Rick McKelvey, a senior vice president at United Properties, which is developing the project. "We couldn't be more excited about this partnership. It's certainly going to set the standard for the Upper Midwest."
The 222-room upscale hotel is a featured element of the 37-story RBC Gateway tower. The $433 million project, which also includes office and retail space and 33 private residences, fills a key block at the confluence of Nicollet, Hennepin and Washington avenues, where a parking lot stood for more than 30 years.
There aren't a lot of specifics about the restaurants. No names, for example, and no staffing announcements.
"It's pretty early on," said Kaysen. "We have so much time to work through all of the details and think about the names and start to hammer out conceptual plans, the direction of the food, the bar program, and all of that. But that's great, because it takes about a year to dream up what we want to do and how we want to do it."
The main restaurant and bar will occupy 8,000 square feet and include a patio on the building's public plaza. The restaurant's windows will overlook Nicollet Mall, and Kaysen noted that pedestrians will have watch-them-work views into the pastry kitchen and its chocolate room.
The more casual cafe will be about a quarter of the size of its larger sibling and will be located near the building's Hennepin-Washington corner. The hotel will operate a bar and restaurant on the fourth floor, adjacent to the pool deck.
"That's going to be a really fun space between April and October," said McKelvey.
This isn't Kaysen's first brush with the Four Seasons. Before returning to his hometown and opening Spoon and Stable in 2015, Kaysen was in New York City, running his mentor Daniel Boulud's three Cafe Boulud properties. One of them was in the Four Seasons in Toronto.
"It's funny how full-circle this has been," he said. "I would be up in Toronto once or twice a month, for a couple of years. I got to know the Four Seasons brand intimately."
Tapping a James Beard award-winning Minneapolis chef to run a hotel restaurant is becoming a trend. Last year, the Omni Vikings Lake Hotel in Eagan partnered with Ann Kim (Young Joni, Sooki & Mimi, Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza) to oversee its Kyndred Hearth.
"Being so close helps to create a sense of community," he said. "Look at José Andrés. He has six restaurants on one city block in Washington, D.C., and they're all packed. It's also great because, selfishly, I can walk back and forth."
Rick Nelson • @RickNelsonStrib