Park Board targets Guthrie-area site for restaurant

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November 22, 2004 // UPDATED 4:43 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has a riverfront spot picked out for a new restauran and is just waiting for the market to develop.

The Park Board's Mill Ruins area master plan envisions a restaurant on the site of the old Pallisade Mill, located near the new Guthrie Theater site, said Judd Rietkerk, head of park planning. It would be located between the river and the Plank Road, a wooden section of West River Parkway in the Mill City Museum area.

The Park Board hasn't picked a date to solicit proposals, Rietkerk said. "Let's get the Guthrie up and running and see what the demand is," he said. "Developers won't be shy" if they think it could make money.

(The Park Board has already discussed the restaurant with the Guthrie and has agreed to restrict the eatery's height so it doesn't interview with the theater's view, Rietkerk said.)

The riverfront restaurant issue surfaced Nov. 17 when the Park Board approved terms to sell the old Fuji-Ya restaurant site to Jeff Arundel of Columbia Mills Development.

Arundel agreed to pay $2.5 million for the property, located between West River Road and South 1st Street, between the river and RiverWest Apartments. If Arundel can clear city and historic preservation hurdles, he plans to convert it to approximately 15 high-end condos.

The deal nearly stalled as some Commissioners, led by John Erwin, tried to shoehorn a restaurant into the Columbia Mills deal. That stretch of river lacked amenities, Erwin said.

Arundel told Commissioners he had consulted with a restaurateur who told him the restaurant idea was a nonstarter.

To allay Commissioners' concerns, Rietkerk told them about the possible Pallisade site restaurant.

The Guthrie plans to have a restaurant in their new three-theater complex, and the Mill City Museum has a deli-style eatery that serves lighter fare.