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January 19, 2004 // UPDATED 2:38 pm - April 24, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

After Aquavit, a Mission

Mission, a contemporary American-style restaurant, is slated to open in March in the IDS Center, 80 S. 8th St, taking a space formerly held by the acclaimed Swedish restaurant Aquavit.

Aquavit closed in June, citing fewer business travelers as the reason.

The restaurateurs behind Mission said they hope to bring a touch of San Francisco to Downtown. That city's Mission District, an artsy neighborhood with Latin influences, is the inspiration for the restaurant's name and flavors, said Anoush Ansari, one of the partners in the new restaurant.

"We're using the highest quality ingredients available to us and preparing [them] very simply," Ansari said, one of the owners of Atlas Grill, located in the Pillsbury Center, 200 S. 6th St. "We're not going to be doing fine dining. We're kind of trying to just do upscale dining that's approachable both for business people, visitors to the city and the local Downtown residents."

Ansari said Mission will place emphasis on its bar, which will feature a large selection of American whiskeys and wine. The menu and prices are still in flux, but he expects the lunch menu to cost around $15 and the dinners to run around $30.

Ansari is partnering with Hadi Anbar, co-owner of Atlas Grill, and Jordan Smith, former D'Amico & Partners executive chef.

The Atlas Grill owners also plan to expand their gourmet deli business, Good to Go. Ansari and Anbar started the sandwich shop, which features fire-roasted meats on flatbread, a year and a half ago in the Pillsbury Center. Now, the pair plans to open a Good to Go at 330 2nd Ave. S.

-- Sarah McKenzie

Caf targets those with work to do

Teresa Crespo, co-owner of the International Business Caf, opened the new coffee shop in the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis for business travelers and Downtown residents looking to catch up on work in a low-key environment.

"I wanted a place where people can come down, sit and relax, and do some work," she said recently in the caf, located on the skyway level of the 1300 Nicollet Mall hotel. "Somewhere people could combine business and pleasure."

The concept also suited the interests of Crespo and her business partner and husband, Rafael Crespo. The two run a translation business called Go Global, which matches businesses with translation teams fluent in German, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, German and Russian.

The office for the translation business is tucked behind the caf.

The caf decor reflects their worldly interests. Panoramic photographs of European and African cities line a wall above a bank of flat-screen laptops.

The International Business Caf opened in December. Besides providing a bank of computers with wireless access, the coffee shop offers a range of teas and coffees. The Crespos also sell sandwiches from the Good Earth, baked goods from Parasole Bakery, 1402 1st Ave. S., and chocolates from around the world.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.