Edit ModuleShow Tags

Mason’s Restaurant Jumps in with the Big Boys


Published:

Mason’s Restaurant owner Lucas Miller invited some media and other guests to tour through the restaurant at a loosely organized happy hour last Thursday night. (After a bit of strenuous head clearing and awkward resume reciting, he and I realized we had worked together at other restaurants.) Mason’s is run by Miller and Chef Andrew Ernst, and has been open since early May.

Located in The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, and across the street from the hulking shell of Block E, Mason’s is a large undertaking for an owner-operator, serving early breakfast from 7 a.m. to a late night happy hour until 2 a.m. on the weekends, and running concessions for The Cowles Center. Part café, with soft seating, tall windows, and brilliant sunshine, Mason’s serves a full line of coffee, treats, and breakfast items as well as grab-and-go lunches for the morning crowd. The rest of Mason’s is dedicated to a full bar, restaurant, and street side patio. A tour of the basement revealed the potential for a late night dance club or music venue. When asked what types of acts he might see filling the spot, Miller admitted to plans for a burlesque show, something he’s had experience booking at other venues in the Twin Cities—racy!

Chef Ernst’s menu features straight forward American fare with a large variety of sandwiches, sausages, and burgers, and a smaller selection of affordable entrees. After spending time in some of Kim Bartman’s restaurants, Ernst plans to keep the focus on Minnesota-grown produce and meats and stressed the importance of his contacts with local farms.

Talking to Miller, he described the difficulty of attracting theatre crowds and simultaneously grabbing customers on their way to Twins or Timberwolves games. Covering every angle can be challenging for small owner-operated venues, not to mention exhausting. Hopefully, an owner presence will play to Mason’s advantage. It’s nice to see a little local attention in an area of Minneapolis dominated by big restaurants and seemingly too-big-to-fail failures, like Block E and the Hard Rock Café. Maybe something as simple as an owner greeting customers at the door will be the key to their success.
 

Mason's Restaurant inside
 

Mason's restaurant appetizer
 

Mason's Restaurant Basement


Mason's Restaurant | Barre
528 Hennepin Avenue S., Mpls.
612-516-3344
masonsmn.com
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Franchise Spotlight: Freshii

Jason DeRusha ventures from local restaurants to test franchises and food chains.

Three Things to Eat this Week: February 8-14

Don't miss these dishes from Ramen Kazama, Isles Bun & Coffee, and the 128 Café.

Garlic and Pepper Tortilla Chips Recipe

A quick and easy way to jazz up regular chips with natural ingredients you're likely to have on hand
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recent TC Taste Posts

Franchise Spotlight: Freshii

Jason DeRusha ventures from local restaurants to test franchises and food chains.

Three Things to Eat this Week: February 8-14

Don't miss these dishes from Ramen Kazama, Isles Bun & Coffee, and the 128 Café.

Garlic and Pepper Tortilla Chips Recipe

A quick and easy way to jazz up regular chips with natural ingredients you're likely to have on hand

Top 6 Non-Heart-Shaped Chocolates For Valentine's Day

Gift your loved ones with handcrafted chocolates that you won't find at retail giants.

Three Things to Eat this Week: February 1-7

Don't miss these dishes from The Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen, Upton 43, and Meritage
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags