Blue Plate Company's The Lowry breaks ground in Uptown

Categories: Interview

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Shimp inaugurates the new construction
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?"

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?

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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.

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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?

Hello, yes.

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!

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Preliminary sketch of the interior

The Lowry
2112 Hennepin Avenue South
Opening August 1

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The Lowry SAMPLE CONCEPT MENU

Burgers Whiskey Oysters Eggs

Snacks

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

Oysters

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



Sandwiches

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

Entrees

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

Burgers

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

Salads

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



Breakfast Specialties

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

My Voice Nation Help
8 comments
Jason Dorweiler
Jason Dorweiler

Keep it simple, that tends to be more successful. The menu is all over the place Trulyme, and another version of many restaurants in the state. I think this place will close during the coming winter if they don't do something quickly to change the decor and focus of this concept. It doesnt work.

Fitz
Fitz

Their "concept" menu is just the same cluttered offerings as the rest of their franchise. The front house will undoubtedly be another awkwardly over-designed hackjob.

Blue plate is one of the least original, unauthentic, franchises in the state.

Seriously, when asked who this place is supposed to appeal to, Shimp basically says "everyone." Great. May as well be another Crave then.

No originality, in the restaurant or on the menu.

One more restaurant from Blue Plate that actively cheapens our region's food culture, not that anyone there cares.

Alysonshine
Alysonshine

this menu is AWESOME ! I can't wait... what does LIEGE mean? the interior sketch is perfect..  

Honestly
Honestly

What the heck is wrong with Minnesota chefs who try to alter the tried and true recipe for Poutine? It's (1) fries, (2) cheese curds, and the most important thing (3) gravy(!, underline, etc). Master those three first, then add other crap. No one in the Twin Cities wants to own up to making the right kind of savory gravy (something the Quebecois have no problem with) so all local variations try to cover up with some extraneous thing like beef (or, at other spots, vegetables). Argh!

Strike two is getting rid of the murals.

Hopefully they stop these whiffs, because they only have one more as far as I'm concerned.

iowaguy
iowaguy

why is it all i can think of is Uptown Cafeteria? 

Not Bob Pellowski
Not Bob Pellowski

 According to Bob Pellowski, the plural of doofus is doofi, not doofuses.

Trulyme72
Trulyme72

I am so excited for the new location and LOVE that there will be sweet potato fries at the Lowry. However, I wish the menu had a wider variety of different features that, like the Uptown location, sets it completely apart from virtually the same menus at Highland, Longfellow, 3 Squares & Edina. While I love them all, and my friends and I are frequent customers, it's getting boring to have more of the same thing.  Scusi is a great Blue Plate example that they can successfully create a completely different menu and fun concept with food as good as their sister locations-go for that!

Jeanette
Jeanette

Liège is a city in Belgium, and a style of waffle that has pearled sugar inside of it, so it is almost caramelized. it is fabulous.

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