Minneapolis is the kind of city that hands its park concessions over to chefs -- just because you're grubbing around in your bikini top and rollerblades doesn't mean you shouldn't have access to a kimchee and fried egg hot dog creation by Doug Flicker.
But this time things will be a little different. Owner Jon Oulman admits that the food he serves out of his two bars is less chef-driven than the likes of Minnehaha's Sea Salt or Nokomis's Sand Castle, but he says they listened closely to what the neighborhood was asking for when Como went in search of a new concessions operator.
About 1,500 people responded to a survey about the pavilion, saying they want to not only eat and drink, but also be entertained. Oulman says the venue can already draw over 500 people for a jazz concert, but residents want more diversity. Oulman is a distinguished local music promoter, and says he'll be bringing in acoustic performers, chamber orchestra, and even theater.
"It's about how we culturally engage the communities that we're in," he says. "At the 331 the community is young and sort of alt, so what we do there has to be really grassroots and a bit 'scratch and dent.' But at Amsterdam it's downtown offices, so we have great happy hours and open it up to fundraisers and events. So it's the same concept. We want to engage who's there. People will be able to eat and drink on a dock, play bocce ball, grab a picnic basket, and go out on one of those water four-wheelers and eat."
As for food, they're envisioning classic BBQ picnic fare, and he says smoked meats will be involved.
No word on exact menu items yet as they're still pending committee approval.
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