Now open: Union at 8th and Hennepin

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November 19, 2012 // UPDATED 5:58 pm - January 1, 2013
By: Jeremy Zoss
Jeremy Zoss

HENNEPIN — Union, the new restaurant from Crave parent company Kaskaid Hospitality and executive chef Jim Christiansen, was scheduled to open at 8th and Hennepin on Nov. 19. 

The restaurant features a signature retractable glass enclosure over the rooftop dining area, allowing it to be used year-round.

The glass enclosure consists of several large sections set onto tracks. When open, Kaskaid Hospitality CEO Kam Talebi said the rooftop will accommodate around 250 people. When closed, it should seat around 170 people. The unique space is the only one like it in the state and will be available to rent.

“I think we’ll do a fair amount of weddings here on Sundays,” said Talebi. “We just booked the Oscar party here.”

Executive chef Jim Christiansen has created a menu of eclectic American offerings that includes snacks, appetizers, shared plates and entrees. Talebi described the menu as approachable with some adventurous elements. The rooftop dining room will feature a slightly different menu than the main floor dining area.

“Upstairs we’ll be a little bit more creative and fun,” said Talebi. “In the summer it’ll certainly be a little outdoorish. It’ll be a little on the casual side.”

Union was designed by Shea Inc., the firm behind several high-profile restaurants. After over 20 years in Butler Square, Shea has moved its offices to the second floor of the building, between Union’s main floor dining room and the rooftop. The basement also houses a separate bar called the Marquee Lounge. 

Shea Inc. founder David Shea said the company settled into its new office in early November. The space combines an open floorplan with exposed brick walls, modern furniture and high-efficiency LED lighting for a feeling that is both modern and classic. 

“It’s new but it’s old,” said Shea. “It’s got history, but it’s current.”