And the reception to Red Cow has been warm in kind. The Cathedral Hill location won the Vita.mn reader’s choice for Best New Restaurant of 2014—besting such critical favorites as Brasserie Zentral, Hola Arepa, and Heyday. Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine recently named their turkey burger the best among all poultry patties in town. They placed second and third in the 2014 Twin Cities Burger Battle.
On the spectrum of MSP burgers, Red Cow generally falls somewhere in between the gourmet precision of The Kenwood and Victory 44, and the decadent abandon of the The Rabbit Hole. They source remarkable buns from Wuollet, A Baker’s Wife, and Breadsmith. They find local cheeses as often as possible, and their beef is a semi-proprietary blend from northwestern Iowa. Even the fries are local. “Our potatoes are from Big Lake, MN,” says Shimp. “We pick them up ourselves, we drive a van up twice a week for 100 cases.”
Red Cow’s expansion into the North Loop will pit their high-class burgers against some of the most lauded fare in town. They’ll install 48 tap lines and a 50-seat patio with sliding glass doors facing the street for an indoor-outdoor feel. The menu will be more or less identical to Cathedral Hill’s, except for a group of flatbreads that will help court the happy hour crowd.
And that’s the niche they’re hoping to fill. Because even in the Metro’s hottest dining neighborhood, the North Loop still wants for a cozy tavern with a good selection of craft beer. The closest competition is Runyon’s or The Freehouse, but neither is quite analogous.