Thursday, August 30, 2012
The Best New Jewish Delis in America
August 22, 2012 / Posted by Rachel Sanders
Whether or not you were raised on knishes and celery soda, you might suspect that the true Jewish deli is kaput. But we say it ain't so. While you sit shivah for the sandwiches of yesteryear, a new generation of "delicatessors" is harvesting your salty tears and curing some damn fine pastrami with them, albeit using locally pastured beef instead of certified kosher. (Oh, and that mayo on your rye? It's caramelized shallot aioli.) Katz's in New York and Langer's in Los Angeles can finally call a truce, because San Francisco's Wise Sons vs. Brooklyn's Mile End (where the deli renaissance arguably took root in 2010) is the new bicoastal showdown. Take a bite out of this brave new world--pickle still included. Long live the deli!
Montreal-style smoked meat magic in Minnesota.
Must-Order: The Reason for Rye (corned beef, smoked meat, chopped liver, red onion, and spicy mustard on rye)
Monday, August 27, 2012
Lili Salon Spa Opens new Galleria Location
William & Friends, the company behind the extremely popular Lili Salon and Spa concept in Minnetonka, has opened a second location at Galleria Edina. The company worked with Shea, Inc., a Minneapolis based design and marketing firm, on the design of a 5,000 square foot spot in the upscale shopping center in a space formerly occupied by Smith & Hawken. Lili opened its doors to the public on Monday, August 13, and is celebrating with an official Grand Opening party this Friday, August 24.
Shea, Inc. is a marketing and design firm integrating expertise in marketing, architecture and interior design. Shea blends diverse perspectives, skills, cultures and knowledge into solid creative strategy for clients. Shea’s client list includes Crave, TCF National Bank, Lunds/Byerly’s, Wells Fargo and Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq Real Estate. For more information on Shea, please contact Andy McDermott at 612.594.4245 or visit our Web site at www.shealink.com or our blog at www.sheaanything.blogspot.com.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Travelers who are flying in and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Terminal 2 will soon be able to enjoy the same Surdyk's Flights experience as those flying out of Terminal 1, following a successful location bid against other restaurants and national brands.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to bring a high-quality, local food and beverage experience not previously available to travelers using Terminal 2," says Taylor Surdyk, CEO of Surdyk's Flights.
Surdyk's Flights will be teaming up again with Minneapolis-based design firm, Shea, Inc. to recreate the class and comforts of the original location with patio seating, a full-service restaurant and bar, as well as an off-sale wine market. Because travelers have already passed through airport security, they are able to purchase wine to take with them to their destination.
Surdyk's Flights was recently awarded 1st place in the category of Best New Food and Beverage concept, recognizing innovative and outstanding airport concessions by the Airport Council International - North America (ACI-NA). Held December 2011, nominees were judged on the performance of their concept, customer service, location, layout and design, as well as branding and revenue generation.
Surdyk's Flights in Terminal 2 will be offering their signature flights of wine, a classic and signature drink menu, imported beers, wine by the glass and premium spirits. The award-winning artisanal menu includes small places, charcuterie, cheeses, salads and sandwiches as well as introducing an expanded breakfast menu to accommodate a greater number of morning travelers. Those who find themselves with not enough time for a sit-down experience can take advantage of Flights' grab-and-go case, so passengers can board their planes armed with a delicious carry-on.
Surdyk's Flights is the fourth-generation extension of family owned and operated Surdyk's Liquor and Cheese Shop, a Twin Cities destination since 1934.
Surdyk's Flights in Terminal 2 is projected to open in late 2012.
To learn more about Surdyk's Flights, visit www.surdyksflights.com
MSP International Airport's website may be found at www.mspairport.com.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Inside the Murray's makeover
The dust is flying at Murray’s.
I breathed some of it in on Thursday morning, during a tour led by architect David Shea of Shea Inc. A busy squadron of workers from Zeman Construction Co. descended upon the 66-year-old landmark earlier this month, and they’re performing some serious miracles to accommodate a tight six-week schedule. Despite the construction-zone surroundings, it was a relief to see that Murray’s was still recognizably Murray’s.
“We want to preserve the Murray’s DNA,” said Shea. “The goal is to bring in the next generation of customers. For that you need to innovate, although at the same time you can’t throw out the things that made the place great.”
Naturally, that would include the signature Silver Butter Knife Steak, and the famous garlic toast, among other sacrosanct dishes. Still, when the restaurant re-opens in mid-September, the menu won’t be preserved in amber. Plans include inserting a lighter touch into lunch and adding a casual bar menu, a strategy to target audiences beyond the customers who view the restaurant as a once-a-year destination.
“You can’t make a go of it by catering to the people who only come in on their anniversary,” said Shea.
From what I saw, Murray’s 2.0 is on its way to becoming a better version of itself, as if it the old gal took up Pilates, splurged on a new wardrobe and maybe even picked up a younger husband.
One element that won’t change is the familiar 6th St. exterior, although its distinctive blend of mint green porcelain panels, warm beige Minnesota limestone and attention-grabbing neon is getting a much-needed buff and shine.
But the plastic surgery -- this makeover isn't extreme, but it's more than a few Botox injections -- starts right inside the front door. A reorganized and roomier lobby will feature a gallery devoted to nostalgic photographs illustrating Murray’s illustrious past. A cutout in the lobby’s rear wall will give guests a glimpse into the previously cloistered dining room. Another first: A showy wine case, separating the lobby from the reconfigured bar.
“Murray’s has always had an impressive wine collection,” said Shea. “But it has always been kept out of sight.”
The former bar, a forgettable vestige of the smoking era, always seemed more suited to a suburban Holiday Inn than an iconic downtown steakhouse. No more. Although the square footage remains the same, the new bar is going to look completely different, and hopefully act that way, too, with an animated three-sided bar (topped in gleaming walnut, a request of the late Pat Murray, who died in July) surrounded by banquettes and booths.
Demolition revealed a find: a decorative terrazzo floor, trimmed with tiny ceramic tile that pre-date Murray’s mid-century ownership (Shea estimates that the building dates to 1900). The plan is to restore as much as possible, then fill in the missing pieces with concrete.
“It’s going to give the space an authenticity that we could never replicate,” said Shea.
A second wine display case will greet guests as the enter the dining room. The second change they'll notice is fairly significant: the space, familiar to countless Minnesotans, has been squeezed to accommodate a side-by-side pair of private dining rooms.
The smaller dining room has its advantages. On slow nights, it always felt too big, and too empty. In its new configuration, the newly compressed space -- which has slimmed from a sort-of square into a rectangle -- has the potential to become a much more pleasing people-watching platform. The bottom line should benefit, too, since Murray's will now have the revenue-generating private dining venue it has always lacked.
Regulars will be pleased to learn that the dining room’s distinctive wall of mirrors is staying, as are the enormous hand-forged wrought iron chandeliers and candelabras. The retro ceiling, framed by serpentine soffits and composed of square perforated tiles -- Shea and his staff had to sleuth around to find enough replacements to fill in the gaps -- is also remaining.
Another holdover is the overall brown-and-beige color scheme, although it’s being slightly tweaked with a few discreet pops of vintage-sensitive colors. But don’t expect to find swag draperies (decorator relics from the last remodel), or the inelegant (and, it must be said, uncomfortable) stackable banquet chairs. They’ve left the building, for good, along with the small and relatively unused stage, which is being replaced by a large banquette.
As for the fate of the clown paintings -- and anyone who has ever dined at Murray’s has the sight of those three canvasses permanently embedded into their cortex -- not to worry.
“They were original to the restaurant, and of course we’re keeping them,” said Shea. “They’re going into the bar.”
The dining room also had tables dedicated to two longtime friends of the house: Star Tribune sports writer Sid Hartman, and retired Strib columnist Barbara Flanagan. “We saved the plaques, and we’ll re-install them,” said Shea.
So far, so good, right?
“The essence of Murray’s will remain,” said Shea. “What we’re doing is transformative, but past customers are still going to be able to say that it’s still Murray’s.”
Friday, August 3, 2012
Lunds to open second Wayzata store
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
by Sam Black, Senior reporter
Date: Friday, August 3, 2012, 5:00am CDT
The new 17,000-square-foot Lunds will be in downtown Wayzata, across Main Street from Lake Minnetonka, in The Promenade of Wayzata, a senior-housing development now under construction.
The other Wayzata Lunds, at the Colonial Square shopping center, takes up 40,000 square feet of leased space. Lunds has announced plans to renovate that store.
The retailer isn’t giving away many details for what it calls a “first-of-its-kind” Lunds.
The new store “will feature a wide variety of food-service offerings, along with an assortment of specialty products,” said Lund Food Holdings spokesman Aaron Sorenson. “We also plan to offer customers at this location easy access to our online shopping service, so they can place and receive orders on site.”
The store could open in late 2013 or early 2014, when the first part of the senior-housing project is finished, said John Mehrkens, vice president of project development for Senior Housing Partners, the development arm of Roseville-based Presbyterian Homes & Services. Presbyterian Homes is developing The Promenade.
“The Lunds store fits perfectly with the vision for the project,” Mehrkens said. “It fills in a need for the downtown part of Wayzata.”
Why so close?
Edina-based Lund has been interested in extending its brand in Wayzata for quite some time, but it didn’t have room to expand its existing location.
Rather than closing one store and opening a larger one, it chose to keep both open and offer the community unique services that aren’t available at the other store, Sorenson said.
The deal also has the bonus of keeping competitors at bay in the affluent suburb. Retailers like Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Kowalski’s Markets might have been interested in the site.
Presbyterian Homes talked to several retail consultants who all recommended a grocer as a lead tenant for the mixed-use project, Mehrkens said. The project’s first phase includes about 32,000 square feet of total retail space. Lunds is the only tenant signed so far.
“We targeted a number of grocers and had significant conversations with at least three grocer groups, both local and national,” Mehrkens said. “Lunds rose to the top.”
Supermarket News estimates Lund Food Holdings’ 2011 sales at $520 million. The company has 22 stores around the Twin Cities under the Byerly’s and Lunds banners. It has a new Lunds under construction in downtown St. Paul and a major remodel of its Byerly’s in Edina under way.
In mid-June, it opened a 20,000-square-foot Lunds at South 12th Street and Hennepin Avenue, only 1.5 miles away from its 5-year-old, 44,000-square-foot store at the Cobalt condo project in Northeast Minneapolis.
The downtown stores have a heavy emphasis on prepared foods, including large delis with hot food, salad bars and sushi counters. They also have bakeries, meat departments and produce sections.
The new Wayzata store will allow Lunds to add services found in its downtown stores into the Wayzata market, said Twin Cities’ retail consultant John Dean.
“A lot of the components that they’re using at those stores may transfer,” he said.
Dean, who retired from Eden Prairie-based Supervalu Inc. several years ago, said Lund Food Holdings, under the leadership of president and CEO Tres Lund, has done a good job expanding its brand to meet customer needs.
“That’s the niche they’ve always been in. I think they learned how to sell their products to their local neighborhoods.”
About 35,000 people live within a three-mile radius of the Colonial Square Lunds store, and the average household annual income in the area is $130,000, according to census data.
David Livingston, a Waukesha, Wis.-based retail consultant familiar with the Twin Cities market, said Lund Food Holdings is known for doing solid research before opening new stores.
“They’re a very healthy company and tend to make the right decisions,” he said.