The Walker Art Center has opened the first phase of its campus renovations, including a new outdoor plaza, main entrance and lobby.
The Walker is currently undergoing a roughly $75-million makeover, including a $10-million reconstruction of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden — the project’s final phase — that is expected to be completed next spring.
The first of the renovations brings a plaza along Vineland Place designed by HGA Architects’ John Cook and Joan Soranno. The center has also recently acquired new work, including “X” from Los Angeles-based artist Liz Larner that will be located on the outdoor plaza outside the new entrance.
The Walker has built out a small extension to its museum store called the Little Walker Shop with a more focused assortment of merchandise available in the main lobby.
On top of these additions, the Walker will be opening Esker Grove, its new restaurant concept headed by Doug Flicker of Piccolo and Sandcastle, for full service in December. Along with the acclaimed chef, Esker Grove will have mixologist Jon Olson (La Belle Vie, Ice House), Chef de Cuisine T.J. Rawitzer (D’Amico Cucina, Sea Change,) and General Manager Kim Tong (Masu Sushi & Robata, Solera, Town Talk Diner) on its roster.
Walker galleries will now be open 11 a.m.–5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m. on Thursday, and 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. They are closed Monday.