Report: St. Paul's iconic Lexington restaurant has new owners

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Three Twin Cities restauranteurs are planning to buy and reopen St. Paul's iconic restaurant, The Lexington, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

The Eater says The Lexington's current owners sent out a press release saying St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman would announce the new buyers at a press conference on Thursday. The Business Journal reports the new ownership team includes Josh Thoma and Kevin Fitzgerald of Smack Shack, located in Minneapolis' North Loop, and Jack Riebel, formally of Butcher & The Boar, also in Minneapolis.

The Lexington, a renown St. Paul institution since 1935, had a reputation as an upscale hangout where St. Paul power brokers and families co-mingled. The restaurant closed last May and has been on the market since.

Two previous deals to buy the restaurant didn't pan out – last summer a deal involving the owner's of St. Paul's Eagle Street Grille fell through. More recently, current owners John and Michelle Hickey and Ed and Jenni Ryan were about to close a deal with former owner Rick Webb, but that too fell apart.

The Business Journal says the new owners will keep its name, but plan to renovate the building to give The Lex a more casual atmosphere. Last year, St. Paul approved a rooftop patio at the building, but one was never built. It's unclear if one is in the plans this time around.

There's no report on what type of menu the new restaurant will have – the much-buzzed-about Butcher & The Boar is known for its meats and bourbon, while Smack Shack is known for its lobster and other seafood.

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