Minneapolis’ Newest Restaurant is Now Open: Central NE Eat.Drink

July 30, 2020 by DRG

Welcome to Central NE Eat.Drink, your neighborhood destination for elevated American cuisine in a historical setting. Opening despite the challenges of COVID-19, Central NE is Minneapolis’ newest restaurant/bar. Located in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis at 700 Central Ave NE, Central NE is where old meets new. Set within a historic warehouse, just below 700 Central Apartments, the team paid special attention to keep the exposed timber and brick original to the building. In fact, the building was put on the National Registry of Historic Places on April 8, 2016.

DRG sat down with Justin Spano with Morrissey Hospitality, one of the masterminds behind this new restaurant to get an in-depth look at the menu and history behind this new hot spot.

Andy and Mary Cohen, owners of the popular Eat Street restaurant The Bad Waitress concluded that their three-year-old NE outlet had to be rebranded.  Realizing that a different approach was needed in this neighborhood, Andy enlisted help through Morrissey Hospitality. Northeast is known for its mix of authentic ethnic options, but there was a space for elevated Americana – not high-end fine dining but today’s take on familiar offerings. So, Andy and Mary, and Executive Chef, Rick Frazer, decided to move in this new direction and thorough the help of Morrissey Hospitality, Central NE was born.

The team knew that they needed to gain the loyalty and trust of the local residents to make a home in Northeast. And they took that philosophy into their menus. To start, you can grab one of their lighter fare, shareable options if you are looking to swing by after work. Or settle down or celebrate with your loved ones and enjoy their large plate options such as a great burger or Steak Frites.

Their cocktail menu is also full of fun surprises. Their twist on their Minnesota Mule features habanero bitters from Tattersall Distillery; the only cocktail in Minneapolis to feature their bitters! Or if you are feeling adventurous you can pick from their “Choose your Booze” cocktails. Four classic cocktails, but guests are able to choose between 3 different liquors to make it their own!

Central NE also understands the importance of the staff that makes their restaurant possible. That is why they put a Service-Included Compensation Model in place. Guests will see a 20% service charge added onto their check as an effort to attract and retain a professional team. The team that serves guests, including hosts, bartenders, and servers, are paid a minimum of $13 per hour in addition the servers being paid a 10% commission and bartenders being paid up to a 15% commission on the sales they generate. Cooks and dishwashers are paid a minimum of $16 per hour. And if guests should want to add an additional tip/gratuity to recognize a team member – something that is not expected but of course is welcome, they assure guests that the additional tip/gratuity amount will go directly to that person. This just further proves their commitment to providing a livable wage and supporting the community they serve.

And even though Central NE was able to make a big splash, it didn’t come without its challenges. They were planning to open earlier this Spring, but when COVID-19 hit, they were forced to push their opening back. But they took this roadblock as an opportunity to make further improvements on their space to better suit the needs to their new patrons. And while they are currently only open for dinner service, they plan to open for lunch when the timing is right. They are also prepping to launch their Saturday and Sunday brunch hours starting early this Fall.

If you are wanting to swing in to check out this new restaurant, be sure to book your reservations online! But don’t worry, you don’t need to make them far in advance! Central NE has partnered with Yelp so guests can join their digital waitlist, even if it is a last-minute decision. You can also order from their take-out menu on their website or order through Yelp!

To check out their full menu and explore the history behind this new Northeast Minneapolis staple, be sure to visit their website, www.central-ne.com.

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