Travail Kitchen plans to build $1M new home in Robbinsdale, but with half the seats

The new location would be just across the street.
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After enjoying a stratospheric rise since its launch in 2010, Travail Kitchen & Amusements is looking to move to a new home ... with fewer tables.

The Robbinsdale venue is celebrated for its 20+ course tasting menu, with food made in an open kitchen concept and delivered to tables by chefs themselves.

Its "pay-up-front" reservation system is often booked up many weeks in advance, and given its roaring success it's not surprising Travail is looking to expand its footprint.

It won't be expanding its seating however, in fact it's new restaurant would actually be even more exclusive, should it be allowed to move across the street from its current home on West Broadway Avenue.

Co-owner Mike Brown told a Robbinsdale Economic Development Authority meeting on Tuesday the new venue would only seat 40 diners per night, compared to the current 84.

"It's to make Travail more precise and more unique," Brown explained. "That's what the brand is built on, it's built on experience, it's built on the uniqueness of how we create food and make it interactive with the people that come and dine with us."

"It's what's considered a destination restaurant," he continues. "There aren't very many destination restaurants in the state and this is going to just further this concept, and it'll make more people come to this town, not just to come to Travail but to live here."

Changes in downtown Robbinsdale

Travail is seeking public funding to cover the demolition of the former Performance Meals unit across the street from Travail.

A new, two-story restaurant with a rooftop terrace would then be built, and would house Travail Kitchen & Amusements.

Pig Ate My Pizza, another Travail Collective eatery just down the road on West Broadway Avenue, would then move into the current Travail spot.

The owner of Marna's Cafe would then open a new spot in the Pig Ate My Pizza location.

Brown said the new space would be designed in a way so that it's "interchangeable," giving diners the ability to explore the different spaces in the building.

"We're pretty excited about having a rooftop, and giving people the ability to hang out on top of a building in downtown Robbinsdale."

The current value of the Performance Meals building is $387,000. When finished, Travail's new spot would be worth $1.5 million.

Plans remain at an early stage. Travail is also seeking funding from Hennepin County to assist with the demolition.

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