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Andrew Zimmern’s Lucky Cricket to re-open with new management, menu changes

Andrew Zimmern’s Chinese restaurant is set to re-open by early September, around two months after it abruptly closed.

A member of the Lucky Cricket’s PR team confirmed to BMTN that the restaurant at St. Louis Park’s West End is targeting Labor Day weekend for its full re-opening date, having closed “for remodeling” before Fourth of July weekend.

While it’s not clear if any remodeling has taken place, there are some significant changes at the restaurant, with a restaurant spokeswoman saying it’s now under the direction of a new management team, under the supervision of new operating partner Mike Outlaw.

The restaurant has a new website and judging by pictures on its Instagram page, it is making some changes and additions to its menu, with images of pork belly sisig and Mongolian lamb dumplings posted in the last 24 hours.

Outlaw will replace the restaurant’s previous managing partner, restaurateur Michael McDermott, who launched the Lucky Cricket with celebrity chef Zimmern last year. McDermott will still have a role as one of its initial investors.

McDermott is the CEO of the McDermott Restaurant Group, which counts Rojo and Tavern23 among its restaurants.

Celebrity chef Zimmern, who expressed hopes of the restaurant becoming the first of a national chain prior to opening, will still be “very involved in Lucky Cricket” as one of the partners.

Noting he is “as passionate as ever about serving our entire community here in Minneapolis,” the spokeswoman added: “He is working closely with Lucky Cricket on all things culinary.”

“As part of our re-concept, Lucky Cricket has a new operating partner and management team, headed up by a member from our initial investment group, Mike Outlaw,” the statement sent to BMTN said.

“Mike grew up around his parents’ restaurant and extended his experience into multiple executive positions within various corporate restaurant companies, such as Hard Rock Cafe, Dave and Busters, Compass PLC. Michael McDermott, our previous managing partner is still an investor in Lucky Cricket.”

Signs of the restaurant re-opening appeared last week, with the venue starting to take reservations on its now defunct website, while job listings for cooks and waiting staff were posted on its Facebook.

The Star Tribune reports that it appears to have partially re-opened on Tuesday afternoon, though the restaurant confirmed to BMTN that it won’t be fully operational until at least Labor Day weekend.

The restaurant has undergone a turbulent start to its existence, with Zimmern under pressure even before it had opened after an interview in which he was critical of Chinese cuisine in the Midwest.

It opened last November, with the early reviews decidedly lukewarm.

The plan is for it to be fully open by early September.

Delicious – Lucky Cricket

Friday night dinner. We ordered shareables after asking the waitress many questions. We tried specialty cocktails. Jet Pilot and Cherry Zinger. very tasty. We decided on the eggplant, wonton, chicken lettuce wraps plus shrimp noodles with curry for the 3 of us. Everything was delicious. we would definitely go back. The atmosphere was fun, lively music and plenty of food & drink choices.

711 of 63 reviews

After watching AZ on TV for years traveling the world, eating and describing food I was sure his restaurant would be unbelievably wonderful. It was not. The service was poor, one of our party received their dinner a full 10 mins. after the rest of the table. One of our appetizers, the pig skin was so hard it was inedible. The other dishes were just so so.

After being converted from a Chinese to ‘Oriental’ cuisine the menu has improved but it is not clear what kind of food in being focused on: Mongolian, Thai, Chinese or a fusion of the above. Our waitress couldn’t really tell the difference between the lamb and duck dumplings(they were both nice and tasty by the way but very different in preparation). The sea bass platter was over priced and just adding soy sauce doesn’t make it ‘oriental’ or it must have been the way the fish was over cooked? The pineapple upside down cake with salted caramel sauce was more caramelized salt and no oriental touch at all. We had a nice evening but I doubt if we will go back soon.

Lucky Cricket: Delicious – See 63 traveller reviews, 46 candid photos, and great deals for Saint Louis Park, MN, at Tripadvisor. ]]>