A change of scenery is almost always a good thing, and in this case it's especially good for the citizens of Eden Prairie. Shea recently helped Tony Nicklow, along with his brothers Bill and Jim, with their relocation of Santorini Taverna & Grill to Eden Prairie, as well as working on the design of their new location. In this updated piece by the staff at Minnesota Restaurateur Magazine, Tony discusses the ups and downs of the relocation, and the motivation for the move:
Sometimes, you just need to listen to your employees! That’s what ultimately made Tony Nicklow and his brothers, Bill and Jim, decide to relocate Santorini Taverna & Grill, their Greek/Mediterranean/American cuisine restaurant, from
Santorini opened in 1995 and had a successful run on I-394, but the Nicklow family decided to develop the location as a Hyatt extended stay property, their first foray into the lodging industry. “We considered just closing the restaurant,” Tony said, since the Nicklow’s also operate other concepts including Nicklow’s Café & Bar in Spring Lake Park, as well as Dinkytown’s Downtime and Tony’s Diner. Tony also toyed with the intriguing idea of perhaps working a little less at his age. However, his employees wanted to keep their jobs and they pressured the owners to keep the operation going.
The Nicklow family, which has operated restaurants since 1967, considered rebranding during the location, but they ultimately left the concept relatively unchanged. “We have a little bit more of a family menu now,” Tony said, “with more sandwiches.” The major re-investment in the concept was about a half million dollars in improvements to the building, which previously existed as a restaurant.
“Someone asked me as we were purchasing the building if I was happy or scared. I said the one thing that scares me is the economy,” Tony said. He’s relieved they had their purchase in place several months ago, and recommends that other restaurateurs make sure they have all the finances together if they plan to approach a lending institution for a loan. “Banks are becoming very unfriendly these days,” he said.
The new location, which is just 12 miles from the old, is about four times larger than the original site. The business closed for about three weeks before reopening in
And how about those staff that begged to keep the operation going? “About 80 percent of the staff, from the kitchen to the management, came with us in the move,” Tony said. “We are like a true family, and we’ve moved together to a new home.”
Santorini Taverna & Grill, 13000 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Call 952-546-6722 for reservations