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

Vietnamese Marinated and Caramel Glazed Back Ribs Recipe

Bring the sweet and tangy taste of Asian cooking to your backyard grill

Bourbon, French fries, Pride, and Fried Chicken

Three must-eat dishes for this week

Maybe the city's most underrated restaurant, Heyday tries to figure out tipping

A 15-percent service fee supposedly takes care of tipping—but does it go to the server?
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

More »Recent TC Taste Posts

Vietnamese Marinated and Caramel Glazed Back Ribs Recipe

Bring the sweet and tangy taste of Asian cooking to your backyard grill

Bourbon, French fries, Pride, and Fried Chicken

Three must-eat dishes for this week

Maybe the city's most underrated restaurant, Heyday tries to figure out tipping

A 15-percent service fee supposedly takes care of tipping—but does it go to the server?

French fries, chocolate chip cookies, and a new twist on the iced latte

Three Twin Cities treats from the Lynhall, Sandcastle, and Meritage

Celebrating Father's Day

This Father's Day, let's treat our dads to some special treats

Linguine in Creamy Basil-Avocado Sauce with Seared Scallops Recipe

The creamy richness of avocados makes for a perfect pasta sauce in this homemade restaurant-quality meal

Bites that guarantee that old summer feeling

Ice cream, coffee, and brandy—just because they make us happy

Angel Food Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Driscoll's Angel Food Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Napa and Kale Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing and Sriracha Cashews Recipe

Whether you want to fit back into last summer’s shorts or are looking for a healthy salad idea, toss up this easy recipe that mixes in filling nuts with antioxidant-rich kale and a kick of spice

The Near-Death Experience of the Owner of Jake O'Connor's and McKinney Roe

From trouble golfing in Ireland to emergency heart surgery, Dermot Cowley is alive and recovering—but plans for a new restaurant are now on hold

Meet the Joy Makers

Meet the Joy Makers

Rum and Molasses Marinated Beef Kebabs with Grilled Cantaloupe Recipe

Get fired up for a taste of the tropics in sizzling grilled kebabs
Edit ModuleShow Tags

4 Restaurants, Nearly $850,000 in Park Board Money

How much do Sea Salt, Sandcastle, Tin Fish, and Bread & Pickle make for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board?

Consider the Humble Raspberry

Consider the Humble Raspberry

Fancy Fresh: 3 Things to Eat This Week

A morel tasting menu, a trendy foie gras egg creation, a worthy cinnamon roll—for your long-weekend staycation
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags