The old Figlio/Il Gatto space at the corner of Lake and Hennepin is making some noise. Construction is underway for the new Primebar, the “contemporary ale house” being introduced to Uptown Minneapolis by Restaurants-America.
There isn’t much to look at, but what I saw looks promising.
First off note the return of the central bar, recalling the layout that worked well for Figlio. The bar is situated closer to the Lake Street windows, as well, and it appears as though they might be setting up an entrance directly from the corner of Lake and Hennepin. Both of these changes should connect the bar and restaurant with the activity outside, something that Il Gatto, Figlio’s ill-conceived replacement, completely lacked.
Also notice what appears to be an entirely open floor plan. In the photo above, the space behind the step ladder is open to the restaurant and what looks like an open kitchen as well. This design should help the restaurant business. The dining room at Il Gatto felt boxy and cramped. It was especially detached from the bar. Being perpetually empty didn’t help. If Primebar maintains the open floor plan, the restaurant should feel and do better.
The contractors were not a lot of help with details, but they did suggest the place would be ready before the end of May. There is a lot of work yet to be done as you can see, but it looks like most of the rough work has been done.
Regrettably, my photos did not turn out. (I am still looking for that new camera.) Soon enough photos won’t be needed. You can visit. My impression here is good. I liked the layout. Let’s see how the concept fits the neighborhood.