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Check out the family-owned business that might replace Tin Fish at Lake Calhoun

Smoked meats and seafood are on the menu.
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The city of Minneapolis has finally announced what will potentially replace the Tin Fish restaurant at Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska.

It's not set in stone yet, but Lola's Cafe could be moving into the lakeside food stand. The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board says the vendor was approved for a five-year lease by a finance committee on Wednesday night.

Earlier this year, Tin Fish's founders, Sheff and Athena Priest, decided not to renew their lease with the park board. They planned to retire and hoped to pass the torch to a few longtime employees, Business Journal explained at the time.

But the Tin Fish folk weren't the only ones who wanted to take over the concession stand. The board says 12 food service operators submitted bids that were "thoughtfully and thoroughly considered."

Fans of Tin Fish need not worry – Lola's on the Lake promises seafood on the menu, alongside "grab and go" smoked meats, street tacos, chicken and fish entrées, salads, sandwiches, frozen treats, and options for kids.

And if you're familiar with Lola's, you know wings will definitely make an appearance. Founder and owner Louis King also goes by the title "Wing Master."

In the proposal, King also called for kiosks near the food pavilion and around the lake to help speed up service.

Lola's Cafe is a veteran-led, family-owned business with more than 35 years in the restaurant industry, the board says. The company has a stand at U.S. Bank Stadium and at the Jim Lupient Water Park in northeast Minneapolis, as well as operating at a variety of fairs and festivals including Soundset and Twin Cities Pride. 

Lola's has also been selected as a Super Bowl showcase vendor. If approved, the Star Tribune says it would be the first black-owned business to work with the board at Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska.

Whatever the new vendor turns out to be, the business will have to give 12 percent of its gross revenue to the park board and also make improvements to the building. Before Tin Fish opted out, the board says it had discussed terms with the Priests that would include $2.2 million in renovations. 

King’s proposal for Lola’s on the Lake includes three phases of investments. Read more here.

The full Parks and Rec board will make the final decision at a future meeting.

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