New owner, big improvements for St. Anthony Mains Aster Caf

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April 29, 2010
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott
The owner of a successful coffee house in Excelsior, Minn., has bought Aster Café, at 125 SE Main St., and plans to reopen the coffee and wine bar on May 17.

Matty O’Reilly, whose 318 Café in Excelsior has won praise for its carefully selected hot beverage options and its live music programming, bought Aster Café on April 1. O’Reilly plans to keep the café’s name but says that he envisions “substantial, whole-sale changes” in terms of service and offerings.

The first step is a long-overdue upgrade of Aster’s coffee equipment. O’Reilly sees a tremendous opportunity to revamp the coffee and tea program, he said, and he also plans to build the beer list around local breweries, American craft beers and Belgian beers. Wine will be offered, and the small kitchen will turn out a “new level of contemporary café food.” O’Reilly also promised a regular schedule of live music. The 318 Café, now in its sixth year, has drawn notable musicians in the past, including members of the Jayhawks and Soul Asylum.

John Rimarcik, Aster Café’s previous owner, still owns the St. Anthony Main movie theater building that houses business.