Ringo to close this weekend

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Goodbye Ringo--or should we say, au revoir or adios?
On the heels of Sauce's closure, another West End tenant will shut its doors: The Star Tribune reports that Ringo has announced it will close after service on Dec. 18.

The news is disappointing, though not surprising--here's why:

The restaurant was launched last spring by first-time restaurateur and former Cargill exec Jim Ringo, with an ambitious concept: a portion of the menu changed every month to feature dishes from a different international destination, such as Korea, Belgium, and South Africa. The idea was to draw adventurous eaters in the suburbs who might not want to make the trek to a Korean restaurant in St. Paul or Fridley, nor be able to convince their more conservative dining partners to go with them. Ringo would offer the best of both worlds--literally food from all over the globe--in a chic, comfortable dining room.

Opening chef Ryan Aberle made some impressive headway--including creating a tasty bibimbap with Thousand Hills grass-fed skirt steak and diced sweet potatoes coated in hot almond syrup--but the task was perhaps too much for one person's plate, and the kitchen struggled to execute consistently delicious dishes.

When Aberle left in July, sous chef David Bonilla took his place, but competition for diners grew even fiercer over the summer when Rojo Mexican Grill and Toby Keith's joined the already familiar/popular Crave and Kieran Folliard's Cooper.

Jim Ringo's other restaurant, Forum, the downtown Minneapolis showcase of of the old Forum Cafeteria's vintage art deco interior, remains open and has a similar monthly changing menu except with domestic destinations.

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