Town Talk Diner is reopening with a Gallic accent

It's ALIVE! The much loved and revered Town Talk Diner will be reincarnated in the coming months. In a major announcement yesterday, a new owner finally stepped up to the plate -- only this time, it's a French plate. The Town Talk Diner will be revitalized as a Frenchier incarnation called Le Town Talk Diner. Yes, you read that right: Le Town Talk.

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The new owners, Emilie Cellai Johnson and Ben Johnson, have a long history in the Twin Cities culinary scene. Emilie first moved to the Twin Cities to work at the Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington before moving on to help open Patrick's Bakery & Café. Ben is an alum of D'Amico & Partners who is currently working in real estate development.

The Frenchified rebirth stems from Emilie's background. She earned her hotel and restaurant management degree in her home town of Marseille and spent time working in a restaurant in the actual Eiffel Tower.

For those who remember Town Talk from back in the mid-2000s, it was largely credited as one of the landmark restaurants for the Twin Cities craft cocktail movement. Running the bar program at Le Town Talk will be Julien Marsson, who's developing a line of French-influenced libations.

The menu for the new diner will consist of mostly comfort foods from the south of France. In an interview with the Business Journal, Johnson explains, "We really want to make French food accessible to everyone. It doesn't have to be complicated. In southern France, we cook with lots of herbs, garlic, and olive oil. It's very Mediterranean."

While Le Town Talk will be decidedly French, the owner's main goal is to keep it comfortable and affordable. The current menu features a variety of French classics including a variety of crepes, a croque monsieur, a classic bouillabaisse, and of course steak frites.

Le Town Talk Diner is currently undergoing a basic remodel, but the plan is to go live on September 13. Will the French angle fill a missed niche in south Minneapolis? Will they ever bring back the adult milkshakes? Only time will tell, but we're eager to find out.

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