Bloomington, get ready for lobster.
Smack Shack (603 N. Washington Av., Mpls.) owners Josh Thoma and Kevin Fitzgerald are converting the former Fuddruckers (3801 Minnesota Dr., Bloomington) to another iteration of their lobster-centric restaurant and bar.
"While the North Loop is a great area to be in, getting there and parking can be a challenge," said Thoma. "Having something that wasn't downtown is going to be a valuable addition to our company. This is a great location, right off the freeway, with a big parking lot. We're excited."
The new Smack Shack, which will open this summer, is located near the northeast corner of the Interstate 494-France Avenue interchange and will occupy a slightly larger footprint than its eight-year-old North Loop counterpart. In non-pandemic times, the new location will have a capacity of 344 diners in its dining room, bar and patio.
Shea Design of Minneapolis is handling the building's overhaul. There will be an oyster bar, along with a showy lobster tank and lobster boil. Pulltabs, too.
As for the menu, "It will be about 90 percent the same as the North Loop menu, but it will probably have some unique items," said Thoma.
The original Smack Shack is known for incorporating thousands of pounds of fresh lobster each week into all kinds of dishes: guacamole, Cobb salads, poutine, bruschetta, mac and cheese, several varieties of overstuffed rolls and, at brunch, Benedicts and scrambles. The menu also includes lobster boils (as well as crab and shrimp boils), fried chicken, jambalaya, fried green tomatoes, bouillabaisse and steaks.
Fitzgerald and Thoma also operate Smack Shack outlets at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and at Potluck, the food hall at Rosedale in Roseville. They also handle food service operations at the 1029 Bar (1029 NE. Marshall St., Mpls.).
The Bloomington Fuddruckers, a south suburban institution, was the first Twin Cities outlet for the fast-casual, family-friendly burger chain. The doors opened in 1984.
"Everyone thinks that it closed a long time ago, but it only closed last May," said Thoma. "When I tell people the news, everyone remembers going there, and bringing their kids."
Rick Nelson • @RickNelsonStrib