Who: VIPs from the restaurant world, media, and friends of friends
What: OM VIP Opening
Where: OM: Contemporary Indian Cuisine
When: Thursday, September 10
Why: To check out one of the most buzzed-about restaurant openings of the year, and it did not disappoint.
The people behind OM know what their doing. Months before the opening, Team OM held Indian beer tastings at local liquor stores and a create-your-own cocktail contest to get those on the "OM Enthusiast" listserve pumped for the opening day. There was plenty of buzz surrounding the yet-unopened Indian restaurant. And if last night is any indication, this place won't disappoint.
It's funny to think the First Avenue space used to be Nate's clothing. It has been completely transformed. The always handsome part owner/general manager Randy Norman--formerly of R.Norman's, er, Seven Steakhouse--checked the invite-only list before ushering guests inside. I have to say, I was NOT expecting what I saw. Rich fabrics, expensive stone, and Indian-inspired art and mosaics covered the two level space. It's stunning.
As I took it all in, it didn't take long to start spotting familiar faces--Jason Matheson of FM107 and Fox9 fame, FM107's Stephanies, Hansen and March, theater impresario Scott Mayer, Twin Cities Live's Jeff Hanson, restaurateurs Thom Pham and Keyvan Talebi, and gossip columnist CJ, who was wearing sunglasses, at night, in an already too-dark restaurant. Jason Matheson was tucked away in one of the large, plush booths that lined the outside of the restaurant, a popular place for the people lucky enough to snag one. The middle of the restaurant was cleared out for the large crowd, so it will be interesting to see the final seating setup.
And of course I had to meet owner Vik Uppal, the 20-something wunderkind who was named a Twin Cities Business Emerging Leader in 2007, at age 23. He started a company with his father before he graduated high school, and by age 21 had completed $25 million worth of real estate developments. Now the family business is getting into the restaurant biz--we'll see if they have the same success.