What's old is new: Iconic Commodore restaurant will reopen after 30 years


After being closed to the public for more than three decades, an iconic hotspot in St. Paul will reopen later this month.

The Commodore Bar and Restaurant, which became a private event space in the mid-1980s, will reopen on Oct. 27 at 79 Western Ave. N., the restaurant announced on Facebook this week.

Since the space closed to the public in 1984, it "has largely laid dormant, while the legend of the room grew," Minneapolis Eater says, and rumors of the bar reopening have swirled, City Pages says.

But now rumors about the "Jazz Age hotspot," as The Growler calls it, are finally coming true.

“The Commodore is one of the treasured places of St. Paul, and we went to great lengths to retain as much of the original look and feel of the place as possible, while also updating it to appeal to contemporary tastes and expectations,” John Rupp, founder and CEO of the Commodore’s parent company, Commonwealth Properties Inc., told KSTP.

The Cathedral Hill bar is located in what was once a famous residential hotel, which gained notoriety when F. Scott Fitzgerald lived and wrote there, the Pioneer Press reported.

Here are some things to look forward to when it opens:

The bar – which as been restored to its "chic, art deco elegance" from when it opened in the 1930s – will showcase regional spirits and have a "robust cocktail menu," highlighting drinks from the 1920s through the 1960s, The Growler notes.

The dinner menu will be influenced by "early 21st and early 20th century fine American cuisine and atmospherics," the Eater says.

Chris Gerster will act as executive chef – he's been at the University Club as of late, but also spent time at Graze in Madison, Red Stag, Restaurant Alma and Levain, the Eater adds.

The Commodore is giving patrons a sneak peek of its offerings during a soft opening from Oct. 20-24 – reservations are required, the Facebook post says.

The Commodore is the latest historic eatery to reopen in the Twin Cities recently. It follows in the footsteps of Il Foro and the Lexington, City Pages says.

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