Restaurateur Michael McDermott closed Ling & Louie’s at the end of last year, and has now opened his own concept, an upscale sports bar named for local football legend John Randle.
Randle’s opened Tuesday near Nicollet & 9th and serves lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. McDermott said the new restaurant brings a greater focus on the bar and late-night dining.
“Randle’s was an opportunity for something different in that Nicollet Mall area,” he said.
McDermott opened Ling & Louie’s under a franchise agreement more than two years ago. While the restaurant attracted office workers for lunch and happy hour, he said, it didn’t draw in late-night business and they were limited in what they could do to change the menu and seating.
Randle’s has a similarly broad menu with sushi, steak, burgers, salads and more, many items that have worked at McDermott’s other restaurants, including steak-and-sushi chain Kona Grill. The redesigned restaurant has more lounge seating and TVs than the previous concept. Outside, there will be patio seating in the warmer months, depending on construction work on Nicollet Mall outside.
McDermott named the concept after Randle, who played for the Minnesota Vikings for nearly a dozen seasons and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The two have golfed together and their children go to the same school.
“He’s a great ambassador for what we’re trying to do,” McDermott said.
The roughly two-month closure occurred during the restaurant’s slowest months. Outside Randle’s, the city is also mid-way through the $50-million reconstruction of Nicollet Mall, which he said has cost local businesses a lot of money.
“You could talk to any business owner on Nicollet. It’s been an absolute nightmare,” he said.
Randle’s Restaurant and Bar, located at 921 Nicollet Mall, is open 11 a.m.–midnight from Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.–2 a.m. on Friday, 9 a.m.–2 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday. It offers happy hour from 3 p.m.–6 p.m. during the week.