Draft Horse put out to pasture in Restaurant Heaven (it's closing)

Lucy Hawthorne

Lucy Hawthorne

In a perfect world, the future of Draft Horse would be put to a vote. 

Motion: Should the farm-to-table northeast Minneapolis restaurant close forever? 

"Neigh!" we'd cry, unashamed.

But the profoundly dumb, beautiful world in which we live is ruled by market forces, the very ones that will shutter Draft Horse, which opened three years ago inside Northeast's Food Building.

"From the beginning we wanted to create a space where people were put first," Draft Horse co-owner Anne Saxton said in an email. "Where our guests would feel like friends & our team was like family. We wanted to celebrate the interconnectedness of us all and highlight the relationships between farmers, makers, and the table. We are incredibly grateful to all who have walked in our doors & helped us accomplish this."

Citing the Food Building's "incredible financial hurdles," Saxton said it made fiscal sense for Draft Horse to exit its lease. The multi-faceted foodie hub at 1401 Marshall St. NE will launch its own catering business and apply for its own liquor license, she explained, making mutual existence with Draft Horse as a tenant unrealistic. 

Food Building ownership will announce plans for the soon-to-be-erstwhile Draft Horse space in January. "We did not want to stand in the way of the success of our neighbors," Saxton says.

Those neighbors were always happy to support Draft Horse. When squeezed by nearby construction last year, the restaurant put out an earnest call for customers to help 'em through the tough time. And it worked! "The community’s response [was] incredible," co-owner Katie Kyle told City Pages at the time.

Draft Horse's last day in business will be December 30. Opt for the fried bologna sandwich on your farewell visit, as it scored high praise in our glowing 2016 review of the locally sourced comfort food destination.