The North Loop classic old-school restaurant Monte Carlo, a Minneapolis establishment since 1906, closed mid-March for the first time in its more than 100-year history. It will reopen on Tuesday for limited inside and patio dining daily from 2-11 p.m.
“We didn’t close during either of the wars,” said Twin Cities restaurateur and owner John Rimarcik, who bought the place in 1982. “We are open 365 days a year. People need a place to go during the holidays.”
The classic North Loop spot, a bar before Rimarcik transformed it, is known for its meatloaf, crab salad on toasted pumpernickel and hearty Reuben, as well as grill classics, steaks and shrimp cocktail.
Most of those items won’t be on the limited reopening menu, which features simple salads, hamburgers, chicken wings, and an egg salad sandwich. Don’t expect any fresh fish or pasta dishes.
Monte Carlo will be serving martinis, mixed drinks and many other alcoholic concoctions made from the 1,000 bottles of booze at its bar.
Rimarcik said the restaurant will start accepting reservations on opening day, but not before then. There’s ample patio seating but, if it rains, he said that people will be able to go inside and stay in a socially distanced way.
“We were never worried about reopening,” said Rimarcik. “I knew we’d reopen. I’m 81 years old, I’ve been doing this all my life.”
Back when Rimarcik bought Monte Carlo, he said it was simply a bar frequented mostly by men.
“In 1906, when the place was built, it was only men — women didn’t go to bars,” he said. “I made it a place where a woman felt comfortable.”
A cook who had been in the restaurant business since age 12, Rimarcik was attracted to the restaurant’s unique location in the North Loop, in the middle of a warehouse and light manufacturing district.
Rooftop bar opening
Around the corner from Monte Carlo, the Hewing Hotel’s popular rooftop patio/lounge is now open to all guests from Tuesdays-Sundays 5 p.m.-12 a.m. The rooftop offers a chef’s selection of bites and cocktails. The hotel encourages reservations.
Beginning this weekend, it will also offer brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., with menu favorites like the breakfast sandwich, filled with bacon, red onion jam and a sunny-side up egg.
The on-site restaurant Tullibee will be open at a later date.