Biz buzz: Loring Kitchen & Bar

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September 14, 2009 // UPDATED 9:39 am - September 14, 2009
By: Amanda Kushner
Amanda Kushner

South Beach meets Central Park at Loring Kitchen & Bar

Loring Kitchen & Bar, 1359 Willow St., a restaurant that offers a modern take on comfort foods, opened on Sept. 9. Operating partner David Bank said that while searching for concepts for a restaurant he and owner Bob Levine found Birch’s in Long Lake, and liked the menu, concept and the neighborhood feel.

Burton Joseph, an operating partner of Loring Kitchen & Bar, is the owner of Birch’s, and the Birch’s menu was brought to Loring Kitchen & Bar, located in the Eitel Building. Joseph described the menu as an American contemporary supper club, and he pinpointed cracker-crusted walleye and truffled shrimp casserole as a few items on the menu. Joseph said the price points include burgers in the $10 range to entrees in the mid-$20s.

“It is an urban place with American food that really is not being served Downtown,” Bank said.

Although the two restaurants share menus, Joseph said Loring Kitchen & Bar will offer a small-plate “Temptations” menu for happy hour, which Joseph said he calls “unwind time” from 4–6 p.m. and 10 p.m.–close with drink and food specials.

The restaurant is glass enclosed, with all windows on three sides of the space looking out on Loring Park.

“From any vantage point in the restaurant you can look out and see Loring Park,” Bank said.

Also, the bar has a glass garage door, and if someone is sitting inside they can look out, and if they are sitting outside they can look in, Joseph said.

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Wasabi Fusion Restaurant is adding about 2,000 more square feet, so it can serve Shubu-Shubu, a Japanese hot pot, which is brought to the table. It’s a big pot of soup, noodles and seafood served in an electric heater, said general manager Tim Huang. Wasabi will be the first place to offer Shubu-Shubu in Minneapolis, he said.

Huang said construction will begin as soon as the city gives Wasabi the permits. The projected opening of the expansion is in November.

With the addition the restaurant will be able to seat another 30 to 40 people at the hot pot tables.

Wasabi’s owner used to live in New York, where there are many restaurants that serve Shubu-Shubu. Since those restaurants do well, Wasabi decided to add the dish to their menu, Huang said.

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On Sept. 12 Mayor R.T. Rybak filled bags of compost to hand out to Mill City Farmers Market customers to celebrate the first waste-free Minnesota market. The Mill City Farmers Market partnered with Eureka Recycling will demonstrate that waste is preventable

“It reflects the values of what the Mill City Farmers Market is trying to do, which is truly replicate natural systems and reflect their values of the importance of local foods and the impact not only of growing and harvesting food but also the impact of the waste generated after the useful life,” said Tim Brownell, chief operating officer of Eureka Recycling.

Composting collection containers and recycling containers are now in strategic locations at the market, Brownell said.

Eureka Recycling applied for a climate change innovation grant with the city to implement the mutually designed program, he said.

Composting creates a need for less fertilizer, less pesticides, and it helps the food system and soil water retention, Brownell said.