The Protagonist of Suburban Dining

A Houlihan’s gets a major upgrade in Richfield

Photo by Jason DeRusha

If only every chain Houlihan’s restaurant in the country could be recast as a locally owned scratch kitchen like Protagonist in Richfield. A team filled with veterans of Republic, the old Minneapolis craft beer bar is creating a similar vibe here.

When you walk in, you’ll have no question about what this used to be. To the right is a huge dining room in the middle of an office building. To the left is a huge bar with TVs in the middle. They added some plants to soften the expanse of dark wood, but it still feels like Houlihan’s.

The food, though, will make you forget everything! Indulge in a top-notch poutine ($14) with beef demi-glace and brisket smothered in cheddar cheese sauce atop tasty fries.

Feeling fancy? Start with an earthy mushroom rillette with pickled onion spread on crostini ($10). Or indulge in a packed-with-flavor duck confit ($26). There’s a rock-solid smash burger, too.

Bring the family or bring the buds to watch a game at the massive bar, where quality and affordable craft cocktails are the real protagonist of this story.

Protagonist, 6601 Lyndale Ave. S., Richfield, 612-259-8135,