Here we go, kids . . . the latest from the ebb and flow of the great tidal rumor mill . . . it was a busy couple of days.
Someone at the MSP Mag Holiday Entertains event told me that the Martini Blu folks (read LifeTime Fitness honcho Bahram Akradi) apparently have “bought” the rights to the Loto concept and they are going to remake MB into a Loto. The deal is apparently one in which Akradi gets the rights to all Loto's present and future, and David Fhima opens and manages all the new Loto restaurants for him. Fhima would still be in control of Fhima’s in St. Paul. Why does this make sense? Because Fhima is a great front man, and with all of Akradi’s real estate and built-in captive audience of club members, the Loto concept is a perfect fit. Why does it not make sense? Because MB could have transformed itself into anything it wanted to all on its own. Why go into business with anyone else when you could hire someone to do the job? Answer: because it costs you very little. Fhima gets out of a pickle, Akradi gets an in-house food guy, and everyone wins. Makes sense to me. Who knows how it will get spun when it’s announced.
Stuff like this fascinates me.
Anyone have an opinion on whether or not this will work?
Michael Morse is opening a casual steakhouse-styled restaurant in the Normandy, the Best Western that sits on 8th Street. That’s what someone told me over the weekend. If it’s true, it would be a great coup for a natural-born raconteur who has longed for his own place for years—but why that concept in that spot? Sounds like a better idea for Woodbury or Eden Prairie, but who knows, I don’t want to measure the drapes before the house gets built.
Jean George Vongerichten told me that he loves the food at Lucia’s, La Belle Vie, and 112 Eatery. This guy is genuinely jazzed about owning a restaurant in Minneapolis.
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