D'Amico to open new restaurants at 2 popular Twin Cities museums

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Visitors to two popular Twin Cities museums will be able to grab a bite of Italian after enjoying a slice of history in the near future.

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) announced Wednesday it has struck a deal with D'Amico Catering, which will be the "official caterer" of the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul and Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, and will open new eateries at each site.

D'Amico Catering – a sister company of Minnesota restaurant chain D'Amico & Sons – will "create, design and operate" the new restaurants, which MNHS officials hope will boost visitor numbers at both museums.

D'Amico already runs a cafe at Mill City Museum, but the move to the History Center will also be just its second restaurant in the eastern metro area, with most of its current locations in Minneapolis and western suburbs.

"The D'Amico name is respected as one of the best in catering and fine dining," John Crippin, the MNHS director of historic sites and museums. "They have been a key component in our opening and growing Mill City Museum over the past twelve years, and we’re excited about the prospects of working with them to reposition the café and catering programs at the Minnesota History Center."

The press release from the MNHS says that as well as opening a new restaurant and catering all events at Mill City Museum, it will also run a seasonal food truck for visitors, residents and businesses in the east downtown area.

Larry D'Amico, co-owner of parent company D'Amico & Partners, added he is "thrilled" with the move to the History Center, which marks "the company's most important expansion into the St. Paul market to date."

Changes at D'Amico

It's been a busy year for D'Amico & Partners, which closed down its upmarket Mexican eatery Masa in downtown Minneapolis this past October, having previously shut down the D'Amico Kitchen at Le Meridien Chambers Hotel and its onetime flagship restaurant D'Amico Cucina.

The Minnesota Eater reports that while it is entering the Mill City Museum and the History Center, D'Amico will be exiting The Walker Art Center by closing its Gather restaurant, with the unit set to be filled by Culinaire International, which runs Sea Change at the Guthrie Theater.

But its fast-casual Italian chain, D'Amico & Sons, continues to expand. Last August, it struck a deal with Target that is now seeing D'Amico & Sons open in a handful of Minnesota stores as part of a pilot by the Minneapolis-based retail giant to revitalize its in-store food offering.

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