The newest reincarnation of Figlio, this time at the West End, will be closing its doors at the end of October. Kaskaid Hospitality, the parent company behind not only Figlio, but also Union, Crave, Urban Eatery, and Boneyard, made the announcement late last week that Figlio would be remodeled and re-branded as a new, lighter-fare Italian restaurant. They also announced plans to open not one, but two new restaurant concepts at the Mall of America.
We've started to notice a fairly interesting trend from the folks at Kaskaid: a slew of remodels and re-brands, temporarily buoyed by top-shelf talent that doesn't stick. Will the new, restaurant-formerly-known-as-Figlio concept follow along those same lines? Only time will tell, but a look at the restaurant holding company's track record suggests yes.
For those of you not keeping track, Kaskaid bought the name "Figlio" from its original parent company, Parasole, back in 2012. Parasole shuttered the original Figlio, located in Calhoun Square, in 2009. Kaskaid brought it back to life in St. Louis Park's ever developing West End in an effort to replace their dying Italian concept, Sopranos.
The only Kaskaid restaurants that haven't suffered a series of identity crises are the line of Crave locations and the newly opened Boneyard. Aside from that, every single Kaskaid restaurant in the Twin Cities has at one point or another been re-imagined, reworked, or revamped.
In 2011, Kaskaid first closed the View at Calhoun Beach Club, their second restaurant location outside of Crave. The location was stunning, located directly across the street from the main beach at Lake Calhoun, but the reviews were mixed, so as a fix, they closed it down, remodeled it, and then reopened it as the Urban Eatery that we now know today.
In the same year, Kaskaid launched into their first Italian endeavor with Sopranos which was led by well known Twin Cities chef JP Samuelson (now at 6 Smith in Wayzata). Sopranos was also hit with mixed reviews and they closed their doors a year later. That's when Kaskaid picked up the Figlio name and with a quick remodel, Figlio 2.0 was born. Not quite two years later, they're closing up shop to reopen as a new, as of yet unnamed Italian restaurant. Third time's the charm?
More recently, Kaskaid opened Union in downtown Minneapolis. Since that late 2012 opening, they've seen three different incarnations of the restaurant. Originally known simply as Union, it was lead by celebrated chef Jim Christiansen (now at Heyday). Shortly after Christiansen's departure, the restaurant announced that it would close and be rechristened Union Fish Market. Since then it's been reopened as the Workshop, which is currently led by well known Twin Cities chef Stewart Woodman.
In an interview with the Star Tribune's Rick Nelson, Kaskaid CEO, Kam Talebi, claimed that the Figlio concept had been successful, but that, "We have been listening to our customers, and they are demanding lighter fare than the heavier, more traditional Figlio menu."
So then why not just change up the menu?
We're curious to see where Kaskaid is heading with all of the changes and expansions. If only so we'll know what to call Boneyard next week.
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