Four Rochester restaurateurs plan to follow up the success of The Loop by building a new family place.
Ryan Brevig, Todd Jensen, Derek Link and Josh Paulsen opened The Loop in 2012 in downtown Rochester. It was their third restaurant, though their first in Rochester. Now, the quartet of 1997 John Marshall alumni are ready serve up a new restaurant concept to the Med City.
"We've wanted to do this for a long time. We're in a place where we want to expand in Rochester," said co-owner Brevig. "Now, we have a green light to go ahead."
They've purchased land in the northwest development anchored by Costco, with plans to build a 7,800-square-foot restaurant to be called Citizen Kitchen & Bar. It will be positioned near the northeast corner of 19th Street and West Circle Drive.
The tentative plan is "to move some dirt in two weeks" and then get the building framed up before winter hits. If all that happens on schedule, they hope to open in April or May.
While this new creation will have some of the flavor of The Loop, it will have its own identity, explained Brevig. Many of the four partners now have young families, and they wanted this new restaurant to be more welcoming to families than their three restaurants that tilt toward a young adult crowd.
The menu will cover familiar territory for Loop fans. He describes it as "contemporary casual American food."
Opening Citizen is also about giving back to the city they call home.
"That's why we decided on Citizen as a name. All four of us are citizens of Rochester. It seemed to make sense to us," said Brevig.
This will be the fourth upscale restaurant the Loop team have opened in the last eight years.
Their two Minneapolis eateries, the original Loop and Bar 508, were built in historic buildings in very urban settings. The Rochester Loop was different because it was part of the new construction of the 318 Commons complex. However, it also is a very downtown operation based on a busy city street.
"It will have a little more of a suburban feel," he said. "And this will be the first really stand-alone building we've built," he said.
That means they can do some things that weren't possible in the other properties. Citizen will include a private dining room that will be available for reservation for events. It also will feature a larger kitchen, which will allow Citizen to offer catering.
Making "a significant investment" into Rochester like this means Brevig and his partners also will be adding to the already large workforce they employ. They have 167 people working at the three current properties. The expectation is to add another 47 people to the team when Citizen starts cooking in 2015.