Nighthawks/Birdie is now part of the Kim Bartmann empire

Nighthawks has not been the same since losing its creative driving force.

Nighthawks has not been the same since losing its creative driving force. Alma Guzman

There's no two ways about it: Chef Landon Schoenefeld's departure from Nighthawks/Birdie sucked the soul right out of the south Minneapolis diner.

Though the business remained open after Schoenefeld left in November of 2016, much of its appeal -- its postmodernist edge and its cheffed-up American classics -- faded. Quality waned. Regulars went elsewhere.

So who better to save the Kingfield corner eatery than the Minneapolis restaurant mogul herself? Starting this week, Kim Bartmann and her management team will swoop in with some changes, powered by a woman who lives to run restaurants.

“With Landon’s blessing, we’ve taken on the management of Nighthawks," Bartmann says in a statement. "Our intention is, as always to bring quality food to the neighborhood. We’ll be getting pop-ups and events back into the Birdie space, and continuing with a kick-ass brunch.”

Other changes include a menu refresh and lunch service Monday through Friday starting at 11 a.m.. The new management team promises the restaurant will have the same look and feel as before.

Bartmann, as usual, is currently juggling a number of other projects: In addition to the restaurants she's already established (Barbette, Tiny Diner, Pat's Tap, Bryant-Lake Bowl, the list goes on), Bartmann is readying a revamp of the beloved Cafe Maude space in south Minneapolis, as well as a champagne bar, Trapeze, on West Lake Street. 

3753 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis