Rabbit Hole restaurant closing at the end of June

Rabbit Hole wasn't exactly "traditional" Korean food. But it was always damn good.

Rabbit Hole wasn't exactly "traditional" Korean food. But it was always damn good. Bruce Bisping Star Tribune

Rabbit Hole's brought something unique to Midtown Global Market since the day it opened in 2013. 

And not just because it was a full-service restuarant, cocktails and all, in a building packed with counter-service joints.

Chef Thomas Kim said the restaurant wasn't "trying to ... become some kind of beacon for traditional Korean food," and took license to play around some. The results weren't mixed: Rabbit Hole took Best New Restaurant honors in 2014 -- "equally suited to lunch with little ones, an intimate date night, a night dining solo ... or a night barhopping with friends" -- and rarely disappointed after that.

So it's with some sadness we pass along the announcement that Rabbit Hole will serve its last meal there on June 30. The news comes via a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon, with Kim and co-owner Kat Melgaard thanking customers for their support over the past seven years. (Prior to opening Rabbit Hole, the two ran the Left Handed Cook, also in Midtown.)

"We moved to the Twin Cities looking for a new adventure," Rabbit Hole's announcement says. "Adventure is definitely what we got in opening two restaurants and raising a baby. The baby is not so much a baby anymore and our restaurant baby, The Rabbit Hole, has neared the end of its lease, and we have made the very hard decision to not renew."

Along with loyal customers, the owner/masterminds offer appreciation to Midtown and the Neighborhood Development Center, the community nonprofit that owns the building and provides "business support services" to its shops and restaurants.

"We understand that our food, style of service, and even our chairs may not have been for everyone," Rabbit Hole's owners write, "but we did it our way. We are and will always be a constant work in progress but the dream and drive to create and own our own business never stopped."

The Facebook post also answers the immediate question: What's next for that cool little space?

"We are extremely excited and proud to announce that Hassan Ziadi, owner of Moroccan Flavors, will be opening his new full service restaurant and bar, Ziadi’s Mediterranean in Fall 2018 in the old Rabbit Hole space. Ziadi’s Mediterranean is the vision, heart, and cumulation of Hassan’s life. Hassan marries his decades of fine dining culinary expertise with classic Moroccan dishes, Mediterranean flavors, and genuine, heart warming hospitality. Signature dishes such as Hassan’s crispy chicken breast stuffed with lobster, mushrooms and spinach then drizzled with pomegranate sauce or his Lamb Mechoui with slow roasted lamb shank, prunes, apricots, and cashews and his 7 Vegetable Couscous bring the Mediterranean to you."

And suddenly we're hungry. Sad, still, but hungry, too.

The post doesn't specify what's next, long-term, for the Rabbit Hole folks, but does have a cool update on the short-term. Thomas Kim's making a cocktail menu for Ziadi's, one which will include "fig infused unaged brandy" and a bourbon drink that weds flavors of "Moroccan mint tea with a Southern style sweet tea."

Deep South meets North Africa in a boozy glass? Sounds like the kind of collaboration that could only happen at Midtown Global Market.