Chef Adam and Kelly Milledge of Erté and the Peacock Lounge: 8 months of farm to fork
Adam and Kelly Milledge are celebrating about eight months of owning Erté restaurant at 13th and University as their spring-summer menu debuts. They have changed gradually from the restaurant feeling like a supper club to more of a French-American steak house. Steaks are the constant, Chef Adam commented. They want to be true to the legacy, but with a twist.
The menu changes seasonally because they believe in “farm to fork,” with everything made or assembled from scratch when ordered, and locally sourced as much as possible. Chef Milledge also enjoys allowing his creativity to flow, leading to daily specials often. With no walk-in cooler and a commitment to minimal waste, they are mindful of what they order, several times a week, and how they use it.
Classically trained, he worked all over the country as a chef, most recently as Fhima’s executive chef for four years before wanting to work for himself. The couple said they looked at various restaurants, buildings and areas before finding this in July 2018. They live in Brooklyn Park and Kelly is the District Manager for Aramark, overseeing the food service at the U of M. They credit Mark and Patte Kraske, the previous owners who retired, for giving them a lot of the history while the transaction developed.
Kelly and Adam have kept a lot of the familiar, including most of the wait staff and bar staff. They re-painted the dining room and are showing local artists, currently painter Tony Vosburg. There is now an online reservation system.
Known for craft cocktails, the bar selections change seasonally, and include an expanded and updated wine list. Happy hour 4-7 p.m. in the lounge features $8 bar bites and $2 mystery beers which change constantly. You can also find many local craft beers on tap.
They’ve done private events such as wedding receptions in the large, flexible open dining room and have a 20-person private dining room perfect for special chef-presented meals such as a Castle Danger beer pairing dinner coming up June 18.
Erté is at 323 13th Ave. NE, phone 612-623-4211, ertedining.com for reservations, menu updates, specials and shared inspiration. Also follow them on Facebook and Instagram, where they post many of the daily specials.
Wander North closes cocktail room
Wander North Distillery, 771 Harding Street NE, closed its cocktail lounge May 31 after a four-year run. “I got into distilling to make spirits, said founder Brian Winter in a press release. “When looking at the time spent in the lounge, versus making or selling liquor, I started to dig a bit deeper, and realized that time and effort could be better spent with distribution. When you’re a really small (one person) operation, you can’t do everything. Plus, it isn’t like there is a lack of places to get an alcoholic beverage in Northeast.” Co-owner Sarah Crowley said the company will move to a smaller space, most likely in Brooklyn Park, when its lease runs out. Their spirits will remain available in liquor stores throughout the state.
Uppercut Gym closes
Uppercut Gym, 1324 Quincy Street NE, is closing June 15 after a 23-year run. Owner and founder Lisa Bauch said in a statement on Facebook that she sold the building to Ben Loehrer from Los Campeones Gym. She also said the Uppercut brand stays with her and will be used on an apparel line, pop up sites for classes, consulting and assisting Uppercut trainers with personal training clients. She wrote to her clients, “Please know that this was not an easy decision to make. The gym has stayed alive for 23 years because of all of your support. Thank you for sharing my dream with me.” Campeones will open on Quincy June 22 and will offer Uppercut members a free month at the gym.
Ackerberg buys 1400 Van Buren
First & First sold the 1400 Van Buren building for $4.875 million and 811 Glenwood Ave. N. for $6.7 million to Ackerberg Group. The Van Buren address is home to Art Force and Fueled Collective. First & First recently acquired the 151,200 sq. ft. property at 3300 5th St. NE.
Below: Kelly and Chef Adam Milledge pose by one of the peacocks that adorn the Peacock Lounge. The bar space was a very early addition to the restaurant that’s operated about 20 years as Erte. (Photo by Margo Ashmore)