Republic coming soon to Seven Corners

Categories: Coming Soon

Republic logo.jpg
www.republicmn.com
Raise a glass: change comes to 7 Corners.
Change is brewing on 7 Corners, as Preston's Urban Pub (formerly Sargent Preston's) has a new owner with a familiar face: Matty O'Reilly, co-owner of the Aster and 318 Cafes.

Besides Town Hall Brewery, most of the area's other bars have a frat-party same-ness, with reputations for being crucibles for barfing and fighting. But O'Reilly plans to strip out the TVs and arcade games and plastic Miller Light signs that have covered the space's character-rich brick walls and replace them with art. He'll also banish the fishbowls of blue booze ("...those get borderline scary from a liability standpoint," he says) and replace them with craft beer and wine.

For too long, O'Reilly says, most of the neighborhood's eating and drinking establishments relied on pre-Twins Dome traffic, and weren't really keeping up with contemporary tastes in food and wine. But he hopes that his new spot, Republic, and its thoughtful pub fare, will provide a destination-worthy dining option.

221 Cedar Ave.jpg
Republic comes to 221 Cedar Ave. S.
To open Republic, O'Reilly partnered with his best friend from high school, Rick Guntzel, who has spent years in the restaurant business with the Jacob Restaurant Group (owners of Nye's and several Jake's restaurants). The partnership will give O'Reilly more opportunity to focus on food while Guntzel handles operations. They plan to partition off part of Preston's large space to create a more intimate music room, and start hosting local acts as at the Aster and 318 cafes. O'Reilly and Guntzel hope to have Republic open by mid May, just in time to get people out on the massive, 200-seat patio.

Republic will be O'Reilly's first restaurant with a full kitchen and will place more emphasis on food than his other restaurants, while still staying approachable. "I think what we're up to won't be intimidating for people who currently go there and will broaden the audience for dining," he says.

The kitchen will have a seasonal, locavore approach and use grass-fed beef and fresh produce from nearby farms in creating casual fare such as ricotta fritters, mussels, sandwiches, burgers, and salads. A short list of entrees will include dishes like hanger steak, bouillabaisse, sausages with roasted potatoes, and walleye with spinach and wild rice. O'Reilly is also working with Sheela Namakkal (formerly of Cake Eater, Namakkal is back from Chicago and managing the kitchen at Aster) on a list of "mini" desserts priced at around $2 a pop. The overall price point will stay low, with most items on the menu priced $10 or less.

O'Reilly likens Republic's concept to that of Happy Gnome in St. Paul, as a foodie-focused neighborhood pub. For drinkers, the 32 tap beers will include lots of locals, Belgian, and German craft brews. Everything on the wine list will sell for $8 a glass or less, with bottles $25 or less.

The changes seem to signify both that students' tastes are maturing and that the neighborhood can attract diners from beyond the University. "Neighbors like Town Hall give me confidence that the audience isn't just 21 year olds," O'Reilly explains.

Republic
221 Cedar Avenue S.
www.republicmn.com


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44 comments
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guest
guest

nobody will go without a fish bowl...

Billy
Billy

 I would like some of the haters to reread the article and show me where anyone is being 'dissed'. It appears to me that the new owners are thoughtful about the location and have improved the environment and the food list. If you don't like the changes, don't go, but who doesn't want better food and better beer for the same price? It sounds to me that the new owners are actually very smart.

Guest
Guest

Most people commenting seem to forget that there are lots of businesses located near 7 Corners where actual adults (vs colleage-age kids) work and eat. Places like Maxwells do very well because they are NOT filled with puking fishbowl sucking idiots. If Republic is smart, they will open for lunch too and promote themselves heavily to the businesses around the area.

paul
paul

Those commenting negatively before the doors even open are probably the one's fretting over the loss of the fish bowl/vomit/fishbowl experience. This is a welcome change for students and grownups alike. Will they lose some of their former customers? Sure. But I know a lot of people (young, and not-so-young) who stopped going to Preston's a long time ago who can't wait to make the new place a regular hangout.

Johnny
Johnny

An upscale bar on the edge of campus with no other traffic to sustain it? Doesn't sound like a very smart business plan to me..........

Brian
Brian

It’s a sad day now that Preston’s is gone. Those of us who come across the street from the Law School and made up much of Preston’s daily business don’t exactly appreciate being treated as something akin to roofie-wielding d-bags that drink Miller Light and gravitate towards shiny objects. This was the only place in the area I could get Dead Guy and ginger-infused beer on tap, and for anyone lucky enough to enjoy the cook’s off-menu Maytag Bleu Cheeseburger, the thought of losing this gem for yet another supposedly “foodie” oriented yuppster joint is depressing. I’m sure that Mr. O’Reilly is well aware of the Law School business and has tailored his plan accordingly, but he has unfairly misrepresented the former ownership, management, clientele, and outstanding staff to Ms. Hutton, who declined to do any sort of research on her own – or even spell Sergeant correctly – before wantonly declaring this unfortunate loss as some sort of victory for seemingly classy people. I’m sorry, is this supposed to be City Pages, or just lip service advertising for hire, disguised as “journalism”? As for some of the asinine comments here…There was nothing wrong with the profitability of the bar; the former owner no longer lives in the area. There was nothing wrong with the beer list; the taps were majority craft. Why the hell you people spend your time on the internet kicking wounded dogs with false pretense is beyond me. You are more pathetic than the cartoonish and non-existent stereotypes that you made up in order to prove your irrationally spiteful points. I will miss this place. Thank you for the service and the memories, Preston’s. ~B.

Gordon
Gordon

Nailed it.

Sterbs and now Prestons, depressing.  I went to Republic two nights ago and had the pork sandwich on chibatta with crushed cherries and well, thats all it comes with....had to order fries separate while suffering through their "made from scratch ketchup."  They should have called it marinara, and i had to beg the waitress to bring me real ketchup.  I'm so tired of hipster yuppie joints where the patronage honestly think they are better than a good time at a trademark bar and need Northern Icelandic Moose Ambrosia Summer Ale to feel validated. Oh, and they wont hesitate to give you stink eye's while you smoke outside on a patio.  Republic and the movement behind these joints makes me sick.  Oh wait, is that guy gonna puke cause he just slammed the last half of that fishbowl?  Yes he is, and that's hilarious.  Get over yourselves.

Guest
Guest

Best wishes to Matt. No knock against the students but there are plenty of places to get your load on swilling MGD and chowing on wings. Similar to St'erbs, this place should give students and other local residents more variety without having to head to NE Mpls or St. Paul.

In a cruel twist of irony, the "poor" law students will soon enough be making six-figures and forgetting where they came from... Drunken frat-boys will blossom into wine snobs overnight.

Mplssean
Mplssean

I can't wait as long as the terrible management leaves. Me and all my downtown buddies plan on including this in our hip list I love the concept. Who cares about collage kids they can go get $1 beers at the library or stub & herbs you don't see Town Hall or The Corner Bar Grumpy's etc. worrying about the poor little collage kids. Best of luck new owners

stupid people suck
stupid people suck

Seriously, you need to go back to "skool" and learn how to write properly. I think I became dumber just reading this. Maybe lay off the booze and conserve your brain cells. Preston's was awesome, the management was great, and this concept has been done and FAILED.

Seanhater
Seanhater

Of course this guy doesn't care about the "collage" kids he can't even spell COLLEGE right. You and your downtown buddies can stay where you are and keep your bitterness to yourself. The management got a lot better when YOU got fired!

Josh
Josh

I for one am looking forward to Republic opening. I enjoy both the 318 and the Aster, and it is nice to see another restaurant focus on local food.

Guest
Guest

This article does Preston's absolutely no justice and is condescending towards those patrons that genuinely enjoyed the wonderful employees and great atmosphere (and no, we are not all 21-year-olds). It seems that Matty shares that attitude with Rachel (no, I am not "intimidat[ed]" by a "foodie-focused neighborhood pub." In fact, I enjoy going to much nicer places than yours.) If you want your captive audience, the people who live and go to grad school around your establishment, to regularly frequent RePUBlic, try not to completely offend us when/if we stop in, like you do in this article and like Town Hall does on a regular basis. We are running out of places to go around here so we likely will give you a shot, but please refrain from talking anymore shit about Preston's - because, for us, it was more than a place with TVs, arcade games, plastic Miller signs and blue fish bowls.

Jacob H
Jacob H

To everyone reading this: Preston's (as of Friday April 29th) Has two more nights left. We at Preston's Urban Pub plan to go out with a bang. Come in for two nights of partying and drink specials. Someone still has to drink all the fishbowls, beer and booze we have left! So come down and show some love, let's give a Minneapolis icon a proper goodbye.

Rusell M.
Rusell M.

Russell: Dear blogger Rachel, Do not insult Sgt.Preston's! Who the hell are you? This pub has an incredible family of friends and a clientel with strong character and a real history!!! Give credit, you probably have never even visited 7 Corners besides the Acadia. Which also is lame!

prufrock
prufrock

I remember when Preston's opened. It was the coolest bar in town, and was styled after WA Frost, where I believe the owners had worked previously. It had all of the best elements of a successful bar for that time: top-shelf rail, fresh-squeezed juices, beautifully restored oak, stained glass, porcelain floor, bartenders who were just cool enough to envy, but not so cool you hated them. The clientele were young professionals and older students, and they had no qualms about spending money on good product. Of course, it was far more de rigeur to drink a lot then. The owners went on to open the Loon which eclipsed Sgt Preston's in blazing success, and I think even before the Metrodome. (I could be wrong, there...)

I loved the place, and emulated their vibe in a bar that I ran in a college town. My target market then was older students, and people just out of school, while still capturing the college dollars. It worked out just fine. The bar made a lot of money and memories, and twenty+ years later I still get my ear bent about what a great place it was. It's still going strong.

To all you nattering nabobs of negativity I say that Matty will do just fine. He has done well with what he has touched so far, and besides his skills, his instincts are good and respectable. I think that he is just the guy to bring back respectability and relevance to this grand old bar, as well as bringing in a lot of people (wisely) spending money.

Eva
Eva

If you any of you have been anywhere near Preston's lately you'll realize that it doesn't get enough college traffic to stay open. Maybe if everyone who is complaining about it closing had actually gone there, it wouldn't have had to close. However, another beer bar on the corner is EXACTLY what the corner needs. Good job Matt. I am very glad to see this happening.

Honestly
Honestly

I thought it got bought rather than closed.

Dave
Dave

Town Hall already exists and has the accolades. Grandma's is just a pile of rubble now (or have they cleared it yet?). Bullwinkles closed. Even Quiznos managed to die in Seven Corners. Where, exactly, are his patrons going to be coming from? Perhaps a better idea would have tweaked Prestons rather than insult it, the things people liked the most about it, and (by extension) it's customers who will make up the core of his customers.

Regular
Regular

It is going to be a rude awakening call when "Matty" finally realizes that this snobby upscale restaurant won't work for the area. This asshole sounds pretty arrogant in my opinion. We'll see who has the last laugh.. (I'm going to miss my fish bowls)

notsomuch
notsomuch

 "I'm going to miss my fish bowls".............Maybe someone can get you the recipe.

Badidea
Badidea

All of you can thank Emma Anderson for blowing this with the current owner, Mark. She is an ex-employee who started blowing the owner. She became two face and screwed all of her friends that still work there. She is the reason that Mark sold the bar. Screw you, Emma.

Jklinka21
Jklinka21

Hey Badidea (nice name, by the way), just read the word vomit that you spewed and I'm just wondering... did Mark reject you sexually or fire you? I only ask because it would take a bitter and angry person to write what you wrote. Additionally, I urge you to grow some ovaries (you clearly are female), pull up your big girl pants and address the real issue you have directly. Bottom line, Preston's closing has nothing to do with Emma. Grow up and grow a pair you juvenile child.

Emma
Emma

It's easy to make obscene, rude, and untrue comments when it's anonymous. Next time, grow up and say it to my face. Own up to your own stupidity and ignorance and get your facts straight. It's people like you that will not be missed and deserve what you get.

Guest
Guest

Who made you in charge? The owner can do what he wants....that's why they call him the OWNER you idiot. You are way out of line to talk like that....Emma and Mark are great people who care a great deal about the employees at Preston's and I'm sick of everyone constantly whining about what they're doing. How about everyone get over it because if you work there, it really shouldn't be a career anyways. You can be a bartender, waitress, or cook anywhere. Get over it and move on...stop badmouthing good people..SCREW YOU :)

Kinn0159
Kinn0159

Thank you for inviting another gay bar to town....just what Minneapolis needs. I'm sorry you can't deal with the college students that have kept this bar alive and will rebel this idiotic excuse for a new pub. You aren't smart Mr. O'Reilly. Please believe I won't be there to watch you go down.

Billy
Billy

 Since when did cleaning up and making a public meeting place more pleasurable a bad thing? As for 'dealing' with college students, I would think that anyone getting an education would realize quickly that they can now do the same thing as before, but in a better environment and with tastier brews and wine for the same price. Really dumb, huh?!

Carlzepecki
Carlzepecki

Not too smart. You will fail miserably just like the three owners before Prestons Urban Pub.

Guest
Guest

And (apparently) just like Preston's Urban Pub itself. I doubt the owners would be selling this off if it were profitable enough.

GM
GM

People sell business for other reasons besides profitability.

Guest
Guest

I'm a law student who goes to Prestons regularly, but this sounds like a good thing. The food will be decently priced (if most of it is really <$10), and I'm looking forward to the wide variety of beer options. Screw a fishbowl; people who want the cheapo stuff can just go to Corner Bar.

Guest
Guest

This guy is an idiot, and clearly does not understand the neighborhood or the people who live there. The law school is across the street and we poor students are not interested in "fine dining". I hope this restaurant fails miserably.

Richdiet
Richdiet

Law students need fishbowls. We will die a slow death, gasping and flopping around in Mondale, without them. Please don't do this.

Mallory Yelenich-Huss
Mallory Yelenich-Huss

NOOOOOOO this makes me so sad, the blue fishbowls there were the greatest. The beer flights were pretty great, too, and we usually played darts or pinball when we were there. Sadness.

Smith
Smith

I give it a year before it takes a "new direction" or closes. It's not close enough to downtown or NE and hasn't had the Twins years to build up a rep like Town Hall did. The concept doesn't match the location. I'd short this stock.

Aaron
Aaron

Cheers to good beer and food!

molly
molly

So excited! Students deserve access to good food and drink. This is encouraging to have a business in the university area supporting local farmers and introducing students to something new and interesting. I can't wait to hang out at a unique place near campus. This is great for Minneapolis, and a perfect way to include a variety of people into the university, food scene, and joys of GOOD BEER. Thanks for your enthusiasm for originality Matty O'Reilly!

Rosie87
Rosie87

Mr. O'Reilly...where is seven corners...that's right A COLLEGE CAMPUS. No college student can afford 8 dollars a glass of wine... i hope Republic fails miserably

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Having seen the menu, let me clarify for readers concerned about Republic's pricing: O'Reilly stated that the most expensive glass of wine will be $8, and there will be several more inexpensive options. As for food, most of the appetizers, entrees, and salads are less than $10, with just a few larger entrees priced in the teens.

Erik Hess
Erik Hess

Home slice hasn't even opened the doors on the place yet and you're decrying his angle? The only price points mentioned in the article were "entres under $10" and "desert bites" at $2. These prices put it in the same price range as Stub and Herbs and Buffalo Wild Wings, which are certainly U of M traditions. In my college days I would've loved a hang out without bright neon beer signs, omnipresent TVs and a meat market atmosphere but, alas, too many bar owners thought that us 21 year olds weren't interested drinking any beer that wasn't cheap enough for beer pong. They lost my business.

Mooosh
Mooosh

"Fratty"?!!! We keep that place in business.

Sarah
Sarah

uhhh, why do you think Sargent P's is going *out* of biz? Because 7 corners has enough fishbowls, enough ladies' nights, and enough neon signs as it is.

Honestly
Honestly

Here's a good tip for the new owners: you can blather on about your proposed changes, but you'd better keep students (especially the over-21 law students just down the street) in mind when you make plans because --without the Twins traffic --they can be your best/most consistent customers.

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