food truck, which specializes in New Orleans-style “po’ boy” seafood sandwiches, is adding a permanent space in downtown Minneapolis’s North Loop neighborhood.
It’s going into the one-story brick building that previously housed Holden Graphics Service, according to Josh Thoma, who co-owns the restaurant along with his business partner, Kevin Fitzgerald.
As far as he knows, it’s the first food truck in the Twin Cities to open a restaurant. “For a lot of people starting food trucks, that’s the goal,” he says.
Starting out with a food truck is a good testing ground, according to Thoma. With a permanent space, “Obviously there’s a lot more build-out and overhead with it.”
The restaurant will have a relaxed, coastal feel, he says.
“Picture a cottage or a cabin on Cape Cod,” he says, adding that the place will feature a lot of whitewashed reclaimed wood.
Among the building’s unique architectural features are “gorgeous wooden trusses” that support the roof, 26-foot ceilings, and exposed brick walls, he says.
In the past, farm equipment got loaded through the large sliding train doors in the one-story building, according to Thoma, who adds that the doors will soon open onto a 60-seat patio. Even in the 115-seat dining room, “It’ll have an open-air feel,” he says.
A lobster boiler will be a prominent design feature, along with a bar that lets patrons see food being prepared.
Lobsters will be kept in green fiberglass fish tanks, like those that can be found in a typical coastal eatery or a local bait shop.
The Smack Shack will also continue its relationship with the 1029 Bar
in Northeast Minneapolis. The bar is screening the April 9 episode of “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,
” which features the restaurant.
About its new digs, which will be ready in late June, Thoma says, “I think it’ll have an impact on the Twin Cities."
Writer: Anna Pratt
Source: Josh Thoma, co-owner, Smack Shack