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Andrew Zimmern's Lucky Cricket to re-open with new management, menu changes

The plan is for it to be fully open by early September.

Andrew Zimmern's Chinese restaurant is set to re-open by early September, around two months after it abruptly closed.

A member of the Lucky Cricket's PR team confirmed to BMTN that the restaurant at St. Louis Park's West End is targeting Labor Day weekend for its full re-opening date, having closed "for remodeling" before Fourth of July weekend.

While it's not clear if any remodeling has taken place, there are some significant changes at the restaurant, with a restaurant spokeswoman saying it's now under the direction of a new management team, under the supervision of new operating partner Mike Outlaw.

The restaurant has a new website and judging by pictures on its Instagram page, it is making some changes and additions to its menu, with images of pork belly sisig and Mongolian lamb dumplings posted in the last 24 hours.

Outlaw will replace the restaurant's previous managing partner, restaurateur Michael McDermott, who launched the Lucky Cricket with celebrity chef Zimmern last year. McDermott will still have a role as one of its initial investors.

McDermott is the CEO of the McDermott Restaurant Group, which counts Rojo and Tavern23 among its restaurants.

Celebrity chef Zimmern, who expressed hopes of the restaurant becoming the first of a national chain prior to opening, will still be "very involved in Lucky Cricket" as one of the partners.

Noting he is "as passionate as ever about serving our entire community here in Minneapolis," the spokeswoman added: "He is working closely with Lucky Cricket on all things culinary."

"As part of our re-concept, Lucky Cricket has a new operating partner and management team, headed up by a member from our initial investment group, Mike Outlaw," the statement sent to BMTN said.

"Mike grew up around his parents' restaurant and extended his experience into multiple executive positions within various corporate restaurant companies, such as Hard Rock Cafe, Dave and Busters, Compass PLC. Michael McDermott, our previous managing partner is still an investor in Lucky Cricket."

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Signs of the restaurant re-opening appeared last week, with the venue starting to take reservations on its now defunct website, while job listings for cooks and waiting staff were posted on its Facebook.

The Star Tribune reports that it appears to have partially re-opened on Tuesday afternoon, though the restaurant confirmed to BMTN that it won't be fully operational until at least Labor Day weekend.

The restaurant has undergone a turbulent start to its existence, with Zimmern under pressure even before it had opened after an interview in which he was critical of Chinese cuisine in the Midwest.

It opened last November, with the early reviews decidedly lukewarm.

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