A new restaurant could soon be on its way to Lake Como pavilion

Republic restaurateur Matty O'Reilly wants to open a new eatery.
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What's happening?

St. Paul seems to have found a new vendor to operate a restaurant at the Como Lakeside Pavilion at Como Park.

The previous tenant, Como Dockside, closed in November after only two years in the building.

But on Thursday, the city's Parks and Recreation Commission will consider an agreement with a new tenant, Twin Cities restaurateur Matty O'Reilly.


– The restaurant at Como Dockside Pavilion is closing.

He owns six restaurants but is best known for his West Bank restaurant, Republic.

The Pioneer Press reports he has been behind three successful St. Paul restaurant start-ups in recent years, including Bar Brigade in Mac-Groveland and Delicata in Como Park.

What's the plan?

According to a draft agreement from the City of St. Paul, O'Reilly plans to open an eatery called Spring Cafe.

Unlike the table-service Como Dockside, Spring Cafe will be counter-service and will do away with Como Dockside's full service bar, relying instead on beer, wine and pre-made cocktails.

The menu will be "kitchen-friendly ... that can be more easily adjusted depending on volume/ time of year, etc," according to a City of St. Paul spokesperson.

"We feel it is more conducive to the facility, and think it will be a better fit than a sit down model," they said.

"We are really excited to work with Matty O’Reilly and his team.

"He knows the Twin Cities and the industry and we are confident that he and his team will provide great service to residents and visitors. We have already seen success with him through our partnership at City House where he runs Red River Kitchen."

Will he succeed where Como Dockside failed?

It's very possible not only because of the kitchen, bar and menu changes, but also because the City of St. Paul has agreed to put fewer time demands on his new restaurant.

Under the agreement with the city, Como Dockside was required to open early on weekdays and continue to open throughout the week during winter months. Lack of business during the winter was cited as the reason Dockside closed down.

Spring Cafe however will be allowed to close during weekdays during the offseason, the agreement says, opening from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.

During the peak season, Spring Cafe will not have to open for breakfast on weekdays, with its hours of operation 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Como Dockside was required to open at 7 a.m.

It will continue however to be required to schedule at least 100 events on the outdoor promenade every year, of which 20 will be for the city's "Music in the Parks" program.

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