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Lucky Cricket, the Chinese restaurant and tiki bar from Twin Cities-based TV star Andrew Zimmern, has reopened at St. Louis Park’s West End.

The restaurant closed abruptly over July 4th with a note on social media that it was undergoing a remodel. The closure was supposed to last two weeks.

Now, almost two months later, it reopened for happy hour on Aug. 20 (1607 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-206-6830, luckycricket.com). A representative for Lucky Cricket said it should be back to daily lunch and dinner hours by Labor Day Weekend.

"Lucky Cricket decided to close temporarily for a re-concept of some things we thought we could improve and honestly, our customers asked for it," said Nichol Hadler, creative partner at Joyce, a branding firm. "Over the last 8 months we did a lot of listening and one of the big things we took away was that the menu needed to change."

Lucky Cricket has "pared back the menu a smidge" to focus on food from across Asia. "We have dishes inspired from many countries and more to roll out in the coming months, from our version of Mongolian lamb dumplings to Vietnamese style sea bass to Korean fried chicken," Hadler said.

New cocktails are from local mixology impresario Johnny Michaels.

Zimmern remains invovled as a partner, and "is as passionate as ever about serving our entire community," Hadler said. "As we work to re-focus the menu to include food inspired by travels from all over Asia, he is working closely with the management team on all things culinary."
That management team looks a little different now. Mike Outlaw, a member of the initial investment group, is the new head of the managment team. He replaces previous managing partner Michael McDermott, who has stayed on as an investor.
As for that remodel, Hadler says the plan was to "align the menu and the décor a bit more tightly, so we have also been working on some tweaks to the physical space including the kitchen." Changes, for now, are "subtle."
When it opened last fall, the restaurant drew critical takes on some of its food, as well as comments Zimmern made in a Fast Company video that disparaged other American Chinese restaurants. He later apologized for his comments.

Zimmern and his team, said Hadler, "are still very excited to be serving the Minneapolis community and hope people enjoy what we are doing now."