Red Cow and Red Rabbit owner Luke Shimp. Submitted photo

Red Cow restaurateur to open Northeast event center

Updated: March 29, 2018 - 8:47 am

Unnamed project is expected to open on Lowry Avenue in 2019

Luke Shimp, the founder of Red Cow and Red Rabbit, is planning to open a catering and event center on Lowry Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis.

Expected to open next year, the unnamed project would be the Twin Cities-based restaurateur’s first business in Northeast. Shimp announced Tuesday that he’s in the early stages of negotiation with the City of Minneapolis to open the multi-level event center at 201 Lowry Ave. NE.

“We’re very excited about this project coming to Northeast,” he said in a statement. “We’re in the beginning stages of planning, but we’re excited to build a venue where people can gather and celebrate.”

The site is the former Little Jack’s restaurant, a two-story building in the Marshall Terrace neighborhood that has seen failed redevelopment proposals in recent years, according to a city staff report.

Paul Dzubnar, a partner with the Green Mill and Crooked Pint Ale House chains, had previously proposed turning the building into a Town Hall Brewery, a chain that started in Seven Corners and has since spun off other locations in south Minneapolis and Edina. Supportive housing developer Clare Housing went forward with its phase, developing the 36-unit Marshall Flats building, which opened last summer on the rear portion of the site.

Dzubnar’s Tied House Properties is now looking to sell the site to Double Black Diamond, Shimp’s development entity. He’s anticipated to close on the property in April and has until May 31, 2020 to complete the project, the report said.

Shimp operates Red Rabbit, a pizza, pasta and oyster restaurant, in the North Loop and four Red Cow locations in the North Loop, Uptown, St. Paul and near 50th & France in Edina. A second Red Rabbit location will open this summer in St. Paul.

  • BT

    An event center… really? I live in the north loop where there are two event centers, and they are just like a pop up retail shop. Because they have to accommodate many different events, they don’t invest anything into the space or the community. For example, The Muse event center covers up the windows on one side with tacky looking ad banners for the space. A real eyesore. And the Aria down the street is such a cool old building that could have so much more curb appeal, but as an event center the owners don’t care… the patrons are just automatic with the events, so the owners can get away with leaving the building mostly as is.

    Event centers should just be housed inside a hotel and not be allowed to take up prime ground level retail that could bring regular customers and businesses that care about thoughtful design and not just making the exterior a big ugly billboard.