Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine

Brasserie Zentral, Foreign Legion Wine & Cheese Bar and Café Zentral in the Soo Line Building in Minneapolis

Published on Sunday, 02 November 2014

Written by Donna Boss, Contributing Editor

Eastern European cuisine welcomes customers at a brasserie featuring a display cooking suite, an eclectic wine and cheese bar, and a grab-and-go skyway café that utilizes ventless cooking equipment.

When the owners of the historic Soo Line building in downtown Minneapolis decided to convert office spaces into luxury rental apartments, they wanted the property to contain a fine dining restaurant that would attract tenants. The building's location was also ideal for drawing in neighborhood residents, businesspeople and visitors. To realize their vision for the restaurant, the owners approached Russell and Desta Klein, whose St. Paul restaurant Meritage had earned numerous accolades since its opening in 2007.

"We didn't want to operate another Meritage," Russell Klein says. "But the developer wanted us to be part of the building project. So he offered us a chance to develop and operate my dream kitchen, which was an offer we couldn't refuse. And Desta and I realized that, if we don't grow the company, some of our long-term employees might go elsewhere."

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