December 3, 2020

RDB-Design

Specialists in home design

Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Mpls. returns with takeout brunch, bloody Mary bar to go

A popular downtown Minneapolis brunch spot is back after a five-month closure, and it is even packaging up its over-the-top Bloody Mary bar and mimosa bar to go.

Hell’s Kitchen (80 S. 9th St., Mpls.) began curbside pickup Aug. 6 with an all-day brunch menu, lunch items, take-and-bake meals, and even a make-your-own peanut butter kit.

But anyone who has moseyed down a dark hallway past abundant piles of cheese and meats cubes, pickle spears and olives, waffles, chicken wings and 243 hot sauces in the underground restaurant’s famed “Jacked Up” Bloody Mary bar might be wondering how such an extravagant build-your-own adventure gets packaged into a takeout container.

“We’re trying to send everything out the door,” said assistant general manager Billy Schoenburg.

Wooden skewers, rim salt and an assortment of garnishes, such as thick-cut bacon, beef sticks, ham, sausage, citrus fruits, cheese, bell peppers and four stalks of celery make it into the kit. Those come with the housemade Bloody Mary mix and a six-pack of light beer to be used as chasers, or mixed in.

You won’t find everything you would at the restaurant, including a house-infused chipotle orange vodka (which cannot be sold to go), or that vast array of hot sauces. Shrimp, chicken wings and waffles don’t make the cut, either.

“It was obviously a big balance between making it possible on our end, and being able to offer something we could attractively price, that isn’t $60 and takes a long time to package,” Schoenburg said.

Hell’s Kitchen’s Mimosa bar also gets the takeout treatment, and it comes with a bottle of sparkling wine and four juices, plus fresh fruit and a candy store’s worth of sweet treats.

Both kits are $25 and make four servings.

“Brunch is a huge part of our identity,” Schoenburg said about the return of business for Hell’s Kitchen. “We’re just trying to allow people to take brunch home.”

Many of the restaurant’s brunch favorites are available, including lemon ricotta pancakes and Mahnomin wild rice porridge. You can also get a kit to make your own 16-ounce jar of the restaurant’s peanut butter, for $13.95.

Hell’s Kitchen was slower to resume service than some other Minneapolis restaurants, partly due to its downtown location.

“The downtown market has really been ravaged,” Schoenburg explained. “Almost all workers are working from home. Conventions and sporting events were canceled. There is next-to-no travel. The volume of business didn’t support reopening.”

With the launch of takeout, Hell’s Kitchen is looking at adding its own delivery service within the next month. The takeout menu may expand. And eventually, dine-in service will resume, but Schoenburg can’t say when.

“We’re hoping as soon as possible, but it’s going to depend on our country and state better handling the pandemic.”

Curbside pickup is available Thursday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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