Remember those plans we mentioned involving Erick Harcey and the Stock and Badge team and the several restaurants they were slated to open at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts? Well, those have changed, and soon, so will some aspects of Victory 44, Harcey's home base restaurant in northern Minneapolis. It looks like one of the busiest chefs is town is looking to refocus and re-brand.
Harcey has announced that he will be taking a step back from Stock and Badge and will no longer be executive chef for the upcoming MIA spots or at the year-old Parka. (Parka and Victory 44 came under criticism on Eater Minneapolis' latest roundup of restaurants that food writers -- including this one -- broke up with in 2013).
"Effective immediately, I will no longer be the active executive chef for Stock and Badge (Parka, Rustica, Dogwood, Grain Stack, Half Pint)," he said. "I will be remaining on as a partner but take an indefinite sabbatical from all day-to-day operations."
Instead, Harcey will be pulling back to refocus and make some changes to the nearly five-year-old Victory 44. Harcey told us that the revision will hone in on their role as a go-to neighborhood cafe with the same beautiful food Harcey is known for creating. Our first question was, what of the Perfect Burger? He assured us, "Perfect Burger will never leave and in reality that's what the whole evolution will be built around. Much more casual and family-friendly, yet still progressive on the food front."
We were also left wondering what the future of the Victory 44 Coffee Bar & Provisions. "There will be changes in the coffee bar, but they will only be for the better," he said. "We are going to enhance our coffee program even further and make a more casual feel and also work to grow our 'provisions' and develop our take-away [products]. We will still be anchored by Dogwood Coffee and Rustica Bakery, so from that point it will stay the same."
That's not all he'll be up to. Harcey will also be opening the new Bent Arrow in the former In Season space. The restaurant will be closer to the chef-driven style of Victory 44 in its early days. He hopes that spot will be ready to open in April.
"At the end of the day I just really love cooking and have goals that I need to accomplish as a chef and guests that I need to make extremely happy," he said.
Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that Harcey would no longer be involved with the MIA restaurants or Parka. Harcey will still be a part of those restaurants, but will no longer act as executive chef.