Is Uptown Minneapolis hungry for vegetarian comfort food?

Fig + Farro is coming soon.
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Once the longtime home of Figlio, the corner spot of Calhoun Square in Minneapolis' Uptown has struggled since the popular Italian restaurant left in 2009. 

Three restaurants have opened and closed in the space in the years since – two of which were Italian eateries. The most recent, Parella, shut down after less than a year.

Could vegetarian comfort food be the concept that sticks? Fig + Farro hopes so.

The new restaurant is opening in the Calhoun space next month with a mission: to serve up "plant-based meals with a pinch of environmental awareness."

"Let us give you an amazing food experience that benefits people, plants, and the earth," the site says.

Eat your veggies

Fig + Farro is the brainchild of Michelle Courtright, who's best known in the Twin Cities for founding the branding agency Made.

In recent years, MPR says she's been building awareness about the environmental and health benefits of a vegetarian diet by throwing plant-based dinner parties.

The restaurant's website quotes Gandhi, offers up research from Oxford University about the benefits of a vegan diet, and encourages diners to reduce their carbon footprint by eating less animal products.

Needless to say, the menu is veggie-heavy.

But there's no shortage of variety or hearty dishes. Fig + Farro focuses on family style, global vegetarian comfort foods. That means shareable dishes like a mashed potatoes with a gravy flight, Hen of the Woods pate, and meatless versions of Swedish meatballs and lasagna.

Of course, they'll also be pouring beer, wine, and craft cocktails – such as a fig old fashioned. Fig + Farro will serve lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. It's set to open at 3001 Hennepin Ave S. sometime in December.

The Pioneer Press says the restaurant will use sustainable practices and will pay its employees $15 an hour.

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