Blue Plate Company's The Lowry breaks ground in Uptown
It's depressing to look at the shell of an old video store, because it reminds you of a bygone technology, which reminds you of your own mortality, which sucks. Someday Stephanie Shimp, marketing VP and founder (with David Burley) of the Blue Plate Restaurant Company, will tell her youngsters that her Uptown restaurant building was once a video store, and they'll say, "A what?"
Shimp inaugurates the new construction
Cheer up: Good times are ahead for the defunct Hollywood Video building on Hennepin. We chatted with Shimp at the groundbreaking of the Lowry, where she revealed the new look, the opening schedule, the new head chef, and when they'll start hiring.
All that's left of Hollywood Video is that sign on top. What's the rest going to look like?
It's gonna look very cool. Dark blue, kind of like you see now. They just knocked off the back of the building, which is where the patio will be.
Um, those murals?
Yeah, they're nice, but they've gotta go. The inside will be California modern with a retro feel--an ode to retro, without screaming "retro." Wood-paneled walls, kind of like the wood of an old-school wooden ship. Tufted leatherette stools, very Charles & Ray Eames. We're working with Nat Shea of Tanek Architecture.
Keeping an eye on the patio construction
Let's pretend it's August, sometime after you open. Who will we see sitting in the glamorous booths and at the swanky bars?
We're planning for an August 1 opening. When we open for breakfast at 7:00, or maybe even 6:00, I think we'll see a combination of Kenwood moms and businesspeople. Incidentally, the hash browns will be great. Lunch, probably a lot of local business clientele and Uptown shoppers. The early dinner crowd will be families, like at the Edina Grill (another Blue Plate restaurant), then later we'll get the twenty- and thirtysomethings. We'll serve the bar menu till midnight. There aren't many places around here where you can order food that late. So, yeah, I think we'll attract both Kenwood families and the hipster doofus crowd.
Hipster doofus? Is that a thing?
And what will the hipster doofuses and families see on the menu?
Burgers, whiskey, oysters, and eggs.
That has a nice ring to it.
Yes, you might see that on a sign one of these days. It's a good slogan, don't you think? It kind of sums up the categories of what we're offering. Other fun new things are poutine, and homemade beer nuts, and maybe deviled eggs. And of course we'll have some of the favorites from our other restaurants, like sweet potato fries and pierogies. (See sample concept menu below)
And who's behind these menu items?
We have a new head chef: Dustin Pallansch. We acquired him about 18 months ago from Strip Club Meat & Fish in St. Paul, and he's been under the tutelage of our executive chef, Joan Ida. He's an up-and-coming young man with a lot of good ideas.
Anyone in particular behind the bar?
No, but we're bringing in a guy from Le Cirque in Vegas to do cocktail training with our bar staff. We're going for the classic cocktail. And we'll have at least 20 wines by the glass, and about 30 craft beers. Really a great selection.
So now we know what it will look like and taste like. What will it sound like?
Hmm. Bustling. We love The Current, so that will pretty much be our soundtrack, with the occasional Hank Williams thrown in. It won't be too noisy in here, though--we're working with the designers to keep the sound levels reasonable.
This place is huge. Are you staffing up?
Yes, we're hiring, starting in June. Spread the word!
Preliminary sketch of the interior
2112 Hennepin Avenue South
Opening August 1
The Lowry SAMPLE CONCEPT MENU
Burgers Whiskey Oysters Eggs
Tempura Green Beans - beer batter, plum sauce 8
Sweet Potato Fries - chipotle pesto 8
Buffalo Calamari - blue cheese sauce 10
French Fry Poutine - braised beef, brie, gravy 9
Chicken Wings - breaded, ranch sauce 10
Deviled Eggs - Dijon dipping sauce 6
Fried Pickles - green goddess dressing 8
Walleye Shrimp Cakes - walleye, shrimp, greens, remoulade 12
Brie Curds - soft brie, beer batter, blueberry ketchup 8
Beer Nuts - kefir lime leaves, sea salt, cayenne pepper 3
Seared Ahi Tuna - Asian slaw, sesame cracker, wasabi 16
Pork Crackling - sea salt 3
Mussels, Prince Edward - San Marzano Sauce, Pancetta 12
Tomato Soup - basil pesto, crouton gratinee 4/5
Yesterdays Soup - TBD
Rockefeller, Fried, or Raw Bar
Bagaduce, ME 3 ea
Wianno, MA 2.50 ea
Kumamot0, WA 3 ea
Penn Cove, WA 3 ea
chef selection; 6 for 12 or 12 for 20
Chicken - marinated chicken breast, Vermont cheddar, basil mayo, lettuce, ciabatta 11
Turkey BLT - oven roasted turkey, bacon, lettuce, basil mayo, sour dough 10
Hot Turkey - oven roasted turkey, roast apples, sautéed green beans, gravy, corn bread 10
Meatloaf - chicken-fried, sausage gravy, corncob, tomato gratinee, buttermilk biscuit 10
Tempeh - avocado, Napa cabbage, cucumber, vinaigrette, whole grain toast 9
Oyster Peacemaker - fried oysters, slaw, tomato, pickles, remoulade, hoagie 10
Egg Salad - seasoned egg salad, cashews, greens, whole grain toast 7
Grilled Cheese - Tillamook & Vermont Cheddar, tomato chutney, Parmesan crusted sourdough, tomato soup shooter 9
Walleye - beer battered, tomato, lettuce, remoulade, ciabatta 13
Meatloaf - mashed potato, green beans, chipotle ketchup 14
Crepe - braised short rib, Dijon crème fraiche, kimchi & pickled vegetables 14
Barramundi - panko, polenta fries, asparagus 16
Steak & Pierogies - marinated steak medallions, onion-cheddar pierogies, crisp onion, horseradish sauce 15
Beef Stroganoff - chive sour cream, fried leeks, pappardelle noodle 14
Lasagna - Ricotta, spinach, pine nuts, red & green peppers, eggplant, san marzano sauce 12
Vegetable Pappardelle - asparagus, squash, mushrooms, butter-cream 10
Chicken - skin on, pan jus, mashed potato, green top carrots & beans 13
Fish Tacos - blackened tilapia, avocado, black bean & corn salsa, Napa cabbage 13
Berkshire Pork Chop - 12oz, tomato-BBQ sauce, mushroom stuffing, fried leeks 14
Mac n Cheese - penne noodle, asiago, Parmesan, Tillamook & Vermont cheddar, crouton (add tomato & ham) 10/13
Turkey Burger - ground turkey, peppers, peanuts, curry spices, pepper jack, poblano pesto, lettuce 10
L22 - ground beef, crisp leeks, tomato BBQ sauce, bacon, Vermont white cheddar 11
Bacon Cheddar - beef, bacon, Tillamook cheddar 11
Peter's - ground beef, caramelized onion, egg, ketchup, mustard pickle relish 10
Blue River - ground beef, Blue River Farms blue cheese crust, lettuce, tomato 10
Fish - walleye, tilapia, shrimp, tomato, remoulade 11
Veggie Burger - garden patty, mixed greens, sweet peppers 9
L22 - mixed greens, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, cucumber, tomato, crouton 6/9
Steak - ancho rubbed, charred corn, tomato, red onion, queso fresco, avocado, tortilla, chipotle ranch 12
Caesar - romaine, crouton toast, Parmesan crisp, deviled egg, Caesar dressing 9
Whole Grain - wild rice, cous cous, wheat berry, barley, avocado, greens, cilantro lime vinaigrette 10
Beet - goat cheese patty, basil, greens, olive oil 10
Fire Roasted Vegetable - red peppers, eggplant, yellow squash, fennel, beets 11
Eggs Benedict - poached eggs, ham, English muffin, hollandaise sauce, hashbrowns 10
Meatloaf Hash - meatloaf, eggs, potatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, béarnaise sauce, toast 10
Biscuits & Gravy - sausage gravy, buttermilk biscuits, eggs, fruit 8
Breakfast Burger - sausage, Tillamook cheddar, béarnaise sauce, buttermilk biscuit, polenta fries, fruit 8
Walleye & Shrimp Benedict - walleye shrimp cakes, poached eggs, béarnaise sauce, hashbrowns 13
Tostadas - chorizo sausage, goat cheese, black bean salsa, guacamole, pico de gallo, cilantro, scrambled eggs, corn tortilla 10
Irish Oatmeal - steel cut oatmeal, maple glazed apple relish, cream 5
Farmers Breakfast - hashbrowns, cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, toast 10
Roasted Veggie Hash - fennel, potatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, eggs, béarnaise sauce, toast 9
Egg White Scramble (consider changing to vegan option) - green beans, oven dried tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh herbs, egg whites, fruit, wheat toast 11
American Breakfast - eggs, hashbrowns, choice of breakfast meat, toast 9
Eggs & Toast 5
Spinach Frittata - spinach, Brie, fresh herbs, oven roasted tomatoes, Parmesan, spinach & basil chiffonade, hashbrowns, toast 10
Southwest Frittata - chorizo, pepperjack, jalapeno, cilantro, salsa, hashbrowns, toast 11
Ham & Cheese Scramble - hashbrowns, toast 10
Cakes, French Toast & Liege Waffles
Liege Waffle 7
Banana Liege Waffle - banana, whipped cream, salted Surly caramel sauce 9
Chocolate Liege Waffle - chocolate custard, Belgium chocolate sauce, candied pecans 10
Peanut Butter Liege Waffle - crunchy Skippy, vanilla custard, candied peanuts 9
Ciabatta French Toast - whipped butter, maple syrup 7
Strawberry French Toast - battered ciabatta, fresh strawberries, whipped cream 9
Blueberry French Toast - battered ciabatta, blueberries, whipped cream 8
Oatmeal Flapjacks - full or short stack 7/6
Buttermilk Pancakes - full or short stack 7/6