For the past two years there would be rumors: I think someone bought the Bachelor Farmer building! I kept checking and nothing every came of it. People would want the restaurant space or the coffee shop or the Marvel Bar basement, but it was hard to find a buyer who could pull off a hospitality enterprise in the whole building.
That has changed. And the buyers make perfect sense. Just announced today, Daniel del Prado and Ryan Burnet have teamed up to buy the building at First Street and Second Avenue.
“I’m not scared about it, I’m excited,” del Prado told me this morning. He knows and respects the history of TBF—he and his partner had their first date there. But he’s ready to reinvent the space and try something new: an Argentinian steakhouse. There may be no one better prepared to run a busy, big restaurant. Del Prado and Burnet worked together at Burch Steak, a busy, big, two-story restaurant that was in Lowry Hill. Macanda is pretty big in Wayzata too.
“Because I’ve had a busy couple years, I want to make sure that this place is very personal,” said del Prado. He’s acknowledging the obvious: Part of the reason he’s been able to scale and grow so quickly is that he comes up with great food, great concepts, and sort of riffs on them as he iterates in a new location. This is not going to be that. “I eat beef, real beef, two times a week at least. We’re using fire, wood fire,” he said. Whenever he would take friends to Argentina, they’d ask, When are you opening a steakhouse?
“We grill everything in Argentina. Even in a construction site, you’ll see a fire cooking lunch,” he said. So this will be a wood-fired steakhouse in a newly opened-up main floor. The coffee shop will become part of the restaurant. The bar and kitchen will be open to the room. There will be an energy just like in all his other restaurants. “The Bachelor Farmer was designed 15 years ago. I like more open spaces, but there will be nodes to the Bachelor Farmer for sure,” he said.
The former Marvel Bar will be a cocktail bar and, knowing the DDP Restaurant Group beverage history (think of the crazy beautiful and delicious drinks at Martina and Colita), you know it’ll be a place to be seen. The talented and creative Megan Luedtke will run that operation.
Dani del Prado has been one of the most influential and successful chefs of the last five years. He’s currently running Sanjusan (not far from his new building), Rosalia (by Martina), Cardamom in the Walker, and Josefina and Macanda in Wayzata. He has a history of opening restaurants and having the food on point from day one—partially because of his talent, but also partially because he has a farm team working inside all of these restaurants.
And don’t underestimate the talent that Ryan Burnet brings to the table. About a decade ago, I wrote this story talking about his ability to capture the sweet spot of quality plus mass appeal. His success with Burch Steak (RIP), Bar La Grassa, and Barrio makes this a very interesting project. Of course, Dani del Prado was the chef at BLG and at Burch, so this first foray into business together is an exciting one to watch.
Upstairs will be something new—another plan, not related to restaurants, that they’ll share later. The new, yet-to-be-named restaurant and bar is expected to open next summer, 2023.