After two decades on Grand Avenue, St. Paul’s Wild Onion Bar & Restaurant is closing its doors on March 31 and will be transformed into Red Rabbit, the second location of Luke Shimp’s Italian eatery concept.
“It’s been a great run! In the restaurant business, to be successful for 20 years is quite an accomplishment,” Wild Onion owner Jay Salmen said in a press release. “We’re very proud and grateful, but it’s time for a change.”
St. Paul diners will soon be able to walk through the doors of Red Rabbit, which is expected to open by mid-summer. Shimp is planning a variety of interior upgrades as well as modifications and enhancements to the kitchen to fit the Red Rabbit menu, which includes Italian antipastos, pastas, and pizzas. The upgrades include adding a wood fire grill and wood fire pizza oven. The outdoor patio and fireplace, as well as the sidewalk seating along Grand Avenue, will remain in place.
The St. Paul Red Rabbit is the sixth restaurant for Shimp, who started the popular burger joint, Red Cow, which has grown to four locations, and opened the first Red Rabbit in Minneapolis North Loop in December of 2016. Shimp operates one Red Cow location on Selby Avenue in St. Paul, and he’s excited about the chance to open a restaurant on Grand Avenue.
“As a local, family-owned business, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to become part of an established community like Grand Avenue,” says Shimp.