The Blue Plate restaurant group has a knack for opening places that appeal to a wide swath. The Lowry, the Freehouse, the Longfellow Grill— they're the sorts of spots where you can bring your grandma, your ball team, your group of semi-obnoxious boozy girlfriends and somehow everybody fits in.
Their Italian and wine-on-tap spot Scusi on St. Clair Avenue somehow didn't hit the right note, so they've rebranded. The concept for Bottle Rocket, which will replace it, is supposed to appeal to nostalgia. There's no word on exact menu items yet, but think familiar Blue Plate fare — sandwiches, burgers, big salads, and a few approachable entrees.
The group is also taking over the former home of Brasserie Zentral and sister restaurant Foreign Legion downtown. They're re-naming it the very lofty-sounding Mercury Dining Room and Rail and the very fun-sounding Shindig Event Center. Mercury Dining Room will serve "uniquely familiar fare," including breakfast all day and a full bar.
All of the concepts will open this fall, and plans for a Blue Plate farm will follow in 2017. The group has purchased land outside of New Prague, Minnesota.
1806 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul
Mercury Dining Room
505 S. Marquette, Minneapolis