Friday, April 26, 2013

Finally Open

Yesterday on what looks like it might be the first real day of spring we are over 5 months into this project. We must send out a very heartfelt thanks to all of the support from friends, family, Longfellow residents,local businesses and the employees at the city who have gone very far out of their way to help us.  As of 4:00 pm yesterday, Zeke's Unchained Animal is officially open for business.

It was a great evening full of many familiar faces and many new ones.  The service was not only pretty efficient, but turned out to be pretty fun.  Our families have commented that since we've completed the construction and have moved into the kitchen, spirits have been much higher.  Long story short, we're excited to be cooking for the first time in a long time.

We're very proud to be a new addition to this neighborhood. We've been bundled together in conversation with the newly-opened Blue Door and Parka eateries in the area and couldn't be happier to be in such good company as the new kids on the block.  The owners of Merlin's Rest (directly across the street) also stopped in to meet and greet yesterday, offering their support.  We anticipate a lot of co-ordination between the two of us, especially in regards to live music and other events.

Our live music on opening night was provided by one of owner Sean Cooke's bands: Fuga, who will continue to provide live improvised funk, jazz and fusion every Thursday night from 7:00-10:00.  Visit for more info

Before you ask, we are supposed to receive our liquor license May 7th, at which time we will be adding some of our favorite taps from the small-time brewers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.

We'd like to thank everyone for their time, especially Dan Callahan, Sonya Monzel and Julie Casey from the city of Minneapolis, Renee Spillum from ReDesign Inc, Joyce Wisdom from the Lake St Council, Andrew Sauter and Chris Chicoine from Apperts Foodservice, Rebecca Hanson from Bix Produce, Bryan Aaker who provided our photographs, Kevin Williams who provided our mural, Keith Huffman who helped us clean up, Frankie Jedneak our mentor, Scott Fultz for support, Karl our electrician, Simon and Dan our contractors and our friends and family that helped get us through the last few months.

Read what the local bloggers are saying about us at these links:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Sorry for taking so long to post, but we're now getting very close to opening.  We don't have an official open date yet, but it should be very soon.  We could be open as early as next week pending final inspections, so keep your eyes out for another post.  This weekend we're finishing up the drywall, painting and finishing touches.  Then we just need to put the pots, pans, plates and glasses, etc. back in its place and open the doors.  We'll be testing out our recipes and taking pictures this week as well.  Pictures will be posted soon.

We also have our liquor license processed and gone to to city council meeting for approval, so we may not have wine and beer when we open, but it should follow shortly.

Thanks to everyone for your patience.  This has been a long and stressful process, but we are very excited to get the doors open after a long winter.

~The Zeke's Team

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Slowly but Surely!!!

Hey all,

We're sorry we haven't posted in a while, but we've got good news.  We're almost there!
The team has been off in Narnia slaying dragons made of red tape and paperwork, but we're almost through it all.  (The pen is mightier than the sword after all...but a little bit less fun to use).  We're still anticipating a late February grand opening and are really excited.

Unfortunately, due to the timing of the paperwork, we are looking at opening without our liquor license, but would be adding beer, wine, and cocktails within just a few weeks.

Now here's some more news as to what's been going on with the team!

We are very proud to announce that Antara is one of the recipients of this year's American Culinary Federation's (ACF) scholarships for the local chapter.  Also, because she received a local scholarship, she is now eligible to win a national scholarship from the ACF.

The restaurant itself is coming along.  We have a little bit more construction, including redoing plumbing and building a couple walls.

We've been busy cleaning the dust off everything and giving the space a much-needed face-lift.  ReDesign Inc. has been generous enough to supply us with some new paint, some of which ended up on my (Sean's) face while painting the trusses on the ceiling.  Let's just say I don't plan on being the next Michelangelo.

We've also begun to set up the tables and stage the inside of the building to look suspiciously like a restaurant.
We've met with some great people and made some excellent business connections. Everyone is on board for our concept of local and fresh ingredients and food made from 100% scratch.

We're getting tons of inspiration from the ingredients we've looked at from the local suppliers.  We're looking at adding a salad with fresh grilled hearts of romaine and sauteed seasonal vegetables and a champagne vinaigrette.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Zeke's Day Off

Hey everyone,

We just thought we would share a little something about a little trip we took to get out of the office for a while.  There's a little lookout point I'm sure a lot of you have been to right on the river in front of St. Thomas University.  There's a lot of little trails including one that leads down to the Mississippi River and one that leads to Shadow falls.  The latter is the one we took.  Here's some pictures of 3 of us (Antara, Sean & Scott) hanging out on the little trails.

Also, for everyone asking about our name: check out our website.  I've put a new page on there.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

In the Thick of It

We've had a hell of a week working to get closer to our grand opening as the newest restaurant in the Longfellow neighborhood. We finished as much demolition as we're going to do for now.  Now we just have to put the puzzle pieces back together.  It's a long, arduous uphill battle getting every area of the building up to the latest building and health codes.  Grab a beer and I'll tell you about it some time.

The best part of this week was the day we got our brand new 6-burner range, flat-top grill and double oven. The grill is the heart of the kitchen so we're very excited to have a brand new one of our own.  Scott's truck, however, paid the price to get it back to the restaurant.  The stress of so many trips back and forth to different equipment places, hauling hundreds of pounds at a time finally took its toll on Scott's brakes, which began to smoke as we brought the grill to its new home.  Scott pulled up on the sidewalk, ran in, and quickly emerged with a fire extinguisher to cool off the brakes, and then had 3 parts replaced the next morning.  Fiscal ramifications aside, it was pretty funny

Part of our focus this week has been to decide the beers on our taps.  We all love a good beer an each have different tastes.  One of the highlights of our week was our trip down the street to the business place of our new friends at Harriet Brewing.  All four of us stopped in to their tap room to talk with their staff about getting delivery (9 blocks away) as well as sample their current offerings.  While we enjoyed all of them, their Divine Oculust stood out as some of the best beer we've had, so we're looking to include a seasonal selection from Harriet on our taps.

We'd like to hear from you now:
What's your favorite beer or style of beer?  We'll aim to include something to please every palate.