The latest in private dining setups is coming soon to Borough (730 N. Washington Av., Mpls., boroughmpls.com).
Owner Brent Frederick has converted a studio apartment — formerly used as a makeshift office and located one floor directly above the restaurant — into a private dining space.
"We're packaging it as someone's apartment, and you're coming over for a dinner party," said Mike DeCamp, culinary director of Jester Concepts, which includes Borough as well as Parlour, Monello, Constantine and P.S. Steak in Minneapolis and Parlour in St. Paul.
That's the idea behind the name: the Apartment by Borough.
The corner unit has enormous windows on two walls, polished concrete floors and custom cabinetry and lighting; in other words, the design, by Studio Grey of Minneapolis, is the epitome of historic North Loop loft living. The retooled, well-equipped kitchen functions as a self-contained workspace for chefs and bartenders. Proximity is everything.
"If we don't have it up here, we've got a whole restaurant kitchen downstairs," said DeCamp.
Along with private dinners — diners will be able to select from a series of curated menus — the space will also be used for cooking and cocktail classes and other events, led by staffers from all Jester properties.
"People are looking for experiences to get out of the house," said DeCamp.
In post-COVID times the space will be able to accommodate up to 30 people: 24 at a pair of gleaming stone tables, plus six at the butcher block-topped chef's counter. For now, the maximum capacity is 12 diners.
While the setup seems to resemble the recent trend of hotel restaurants creatively converting guest rooms into private dining spaces, that's not entirely accurate.
"This project wasn't so much a pivot for us, because we started this before COVID," said DeCamp. "It just took a year because of COVID."
The Apartment is scheduled to open at the end of the month.