'Avocado bar' destined for the new Dayton's project on Nicollet Mall

Avocado will abound at the new Dayton's Project on Nicollet

Avocado will abound at the new Dayton's Project on Nicollet Avocadoish

The people at Dayton’s didn’t mean for us to find out like this… but here we are.

Alex Varouhas, a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, has never run a restaurant before. But when he and future partner Lydé Heckroodt, a professional kitesurfer from South Africa, met on a bus while traveling through Portugal, neither anticipated their shared passion for avocados would bring the pair halfway across the world again to Minneapolis to launch the Midwest’s first avocado-centric dining concept. 

Located inside the new Dayton’s project on Nicollet Mall, their restaurant, Avocadoish, is entirely inspired by the nutrient-dense “millennial favorite” berry* supposedly responsible for ruining this era’s home-ownership rates. To be fair, Avocadoish won’t bear the brunt of the new Dayton’s dining presence. Rather, it’ll be one of many new concepts at the historic Nicollet Mall site’s 45,000-square-foot new food hall, which is still under development. 

Mid-America Real Estate’s Tricia Pitchford told Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, “While we’re not ready to formally announce tenants for the food hall, they are representative of the unique and exciting concepts that will be part of The Dayton’s Project Food Hall.” Mid-America is handling leasing for the food hall, though they’ve yet to disclose a full list of tenants. 

For their part, the folks at Avocadoish are playing coy, saying only that they’re “currently experimenting with a variety of whole foods and working hard to perfect our final all-avocado menu.” The wiggle room may be vast, but the results should no doubt be tasty.

Meanwhile as avocado-lovers, (probably forever) non-homeowners, and fans of things that are good for you (in moderation), City Pages relishes the opportunity to discover what Avocadoish will look like in practice. Stay tuned as details emerge.


*To settle those arguments now: It’s not only a fruit, but even more specifically, yes, it’s a berry. We did our googles.