Pinpointing what lies ahead for the dining and hospitality industry – craft breweries and taquerías! fast-casual gastropubs or 20-course prix fixe affairs? – and planning accordingly has been a trip since the onset of COVID-19, no matter your vantage point. Easy answers aren’t in fast supply.
But at the foreground of folks working from the inside to untangle the knots of this predicament as it relates to independent, fine dining establishments, you'll find chef Gavin Kaysen.
In addition to lobbying early and loudly for government support for the restaurant sector, and joining in the launch of the Twin Cities Restaurant Coalition, the James Beard Award-winning chef behind a trio of the Twin Cities’ most praised restaurants also has been involved in keeping a makeshift pandemic diary called “The Shutdown Notebook” over at The Counter.
In the latest installment, Kaysen announces his plans to reopen Minneapolis’s Spoon and Stable and Demi, as well as Bellecour in Wayzata. To be more precise, he's not only talking “plans”… he’s got dates firmed up, too.
Bellecour’s bakery and patio will open to guests on June 25; its dining room will follow on June 30. Demi – whose 20 seats have been empty since Kaysen chose to close its doors on March 15, in advance of Gov. Walz’s first executive order – will begin hosting guests on July 8. Spoon and Stable will follow thereafter on July 10, as its takeout service has been on hold since early June.
(Also of note? Kaysen said Bellecour is the only restaurant not yet open in Wayzata, where it's "as though nothing has changed.")
In addition to state-mandated safety measures, diners can expect a few notable changes in their experiences. Spoon and Stable will, at least initially, reopen without the bar menu, which once featured shareable snacks. Kaysen notes that fitting Demi’s tasting menu within the CDC-recommended two-hour dining window is an expected challenge, but if any group of individuals can bend time to their will, it is… Kaysen and the chefs in his employ.