The former home of Auriga, at 1930 Hennepin Ave. in Minneapolis has been shuttered for four years, slowly decaying--graffiti on the building, weeds in the parking lot--all the while.
Fortunately, a new team of restaurateurs plans to revive the space as a deli, the Star Tribune reports.[jump]
Restaurant consultant Tobie Nidetz is partnering with a real estate attorney and first-time restaurateur David Weinstein, whom Nidetz met when he was teaching a cooking class at Kitchen Window, and says he's "99.9 percent sure" the project is a go.
Weinstein apparently has been unhappy with the local deli offerings and was inspired to create his own following the model not of New York delis but ones in Montreal, including the Canadians' famous smoked meat.
Nidetz says there will also be corned beef, chopped liver, matzo ball soup, bagels, bialys, and more, and that he hopes to have the as-of-yet-unnamed fast-casual eatery open by Labor Day.
We here at Hot Dish have hated to see that beguiling, well-situated space sit empty, but there's a reason that the Auriga building wasn't snapped up immediately: namely, structural and mechanical issues with the building that apparently resulted in high heat and repair bills for Auriga.
Will a first-time restaurateur be ready to face those sorts of difficulties, even with the help of a veteran like Nidetz? Or will a challenging space prove too much, as was the case of Jim Ringo's Forum?