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First Look: Hen House Eatery

The new look of 114 S. Eighth St.
The new look of 114 S. Eighth St.

How do you take over the space of a downtown Minneapolis institution (Peter's Grill) and make a go of it? The three women at the helm of the new Hen House Eatery, Barb Gardiner, Maribel Cuadros Perrault, and Tara Koenig, worked together for years at Keys in the Foshay, and are betting on homey baked goods, tasty breakfasts, and a long weekday happy hour to motivate worker bees to fill the seats morning, noon, and well, early evening. See also: New Hen House Eatery to take over Peter's Grill Location

French silk, banana creme and coconut, oh my!
French silk, banana creme and coconut, oh my!

The bakery case still greets as you enter, offering made-on-the-premises cakes, pies, bars, cookies, and a selection of coffee drinks, but the decor has been made over in brighter colors, chalkboard paint, and farmhouse slats. They've got beloved breakfast fare -- pancakes, waffles, omelets, benedicts, biscuits and gravy, and even a few Mexican-inspired dishes -- all day long, in addition to a full lunch board of sandwiches, grilled cheese varieties, burgers, salads, and soups. The prices range from $2.99 for a caramel roll to $14.99 for the salmon salad.

The caramel roll at Hen House Eatery
The caramel roll at Hen House Eatery
Courtesy of Hen House

Hen House opens early (6:30 a.m. on weekdays) and closes on the early side as well (8 p.m. on weeknights) but accommodates the post-work crowd with a happy hour that lasts from noon to 7 p.m. All drinks are $1 off, making some tallboys and the house wine just $3. The beer and wine varietals are written on the chalkboard columns, and a shot of the day is proclaimed just under one of the televisions. To go with, there's a small bites menu of apps that range in price from $6 to $9. Cheeseburger sliders with fries, mac-and-cheese bites with pesto aioli and sriracha mayo, Buffalo turkey meatballs served with bleu cheese, and pretzel bites are some of the bar-time munchies offered.

A little nosh at happy hour?
A little nosh at happy hour?

Small plates aside, the most compelling part of the Hen House menu is the list of morning cocktails. Alongside the usual mimosas and bellinis, are a few tempting-sounding treats. The Red Eye Rooster is the house bloody mary and boasts sriracha vodka, cheese, a beef stick, a hard-boiled egg, celery, and a pickle spear. It packs a nice not-too-spicy sip for $8.99. The Breakfast of Champions mixes Crown Maple, Jagermeister, bitters, and OJ with a bacon garnish for $7.99 for the more serious drinker. Need a refresher? The Paloma combines Don Julio Blanco, soda, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and lime for $7.99.

A refreshing Paloma
A refreshing Paloma

Whether you're craving breakfast, lunch, or cocktails, the new Hen House Eatery has something in your wheelhouse. Take a meeting or sneak in for a quick trip to the bakery counter or simply stop in to enjoy a hint of the old Peter's nostalgia wrapped up in a brighter, more upbeat attitude.

First Look: Hen House Eatery

Hen House Eatery's hours are 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m.

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