By early 2020, Pajarito's reach will span the Twin Cities, from West Seventh in St. Paul to 50th and France in Edina.
The upscale taqueria is leapfrogging over Minneapolis to open its second outpost. "We actually have a lot of customers from the western suburbs, so it makes sense to bring this closer to them," said Tyge Nelson who co-owns the restaurant with Stephan Hesse.
Not that Edina was always the end goal; things just fell into place.
"It wasn't something where we thought we needed to move to Minneapolis or to Edina. This just came up," said Nelson.
"This" being the restaurant space at 3910 W. 50th St., most recently vacated by Moderna Kouzina (and Mozza Mia and Tejas before that). Nelson and Hesse have secured a lease on the property and will open Pajarito's Edina location in the coming months.
The menu will hew closely to that of the original location (605 W. Seventh St., pajaritostp.com): Mexican bistro fare such as soft shell crab tacos with watermelon, serrano chile and curry; shishito peppers with lime, soy and chipotle; and their popular shaved beef torta. Nelson said they might add a few new salads to the menu to accommodate a different clientele, but generally the offerings will stay the same. Those cilantro habanero margaritas you've been slurping down? They'll be there.
Pajarito's predecessor, Moderna Kouzina closed in March, after less than a year in business. Its owners had undertaken extensive renovations in the 4800 square-foot space, which means Nelson and Hesse won't have too much work to do before opening. "It will mostly be some cosmetic changes," said Nelson. "We'll give it our touch."
The restaurant will also enjoy a larger kitchen space and more room in general -- including a large lower level for private events.