Since 2014, CoV has been serving the Lake Minnetonka crowd delicious eats from a charming, coastal-inspired wharf in Wayzata. Opened by restaurant industry veteran and former East Coaster Dean Vlahos, it’s an upscale and trendy spot that—in true coastal style—guests feel just as comfortable coming in off the water as they do for drinks after a day at the office. And landlocked though it may be, this winter, Edina’s Galleria becomes home to a second CoV location—seaside vibe, beachy eats and all.
“We don’t have Lake Minnetonka here—that’s obviously a huge draw for the original CoV,” admits Sargent Johnson, Wayzata resident and Managing Director of Hines Property Management, the global real estate firm that’s worked with Vlahos to bring CoV to the Galleria and develop the space. But, he says, there are other draws—namely the Midwestern hospitality and East Coast getaway-esque vibe—that make CoV a great fit for the Galleria’s clientele. This year, CoV hopes to carry its unmistakable charm, and the laidback atmosphere that comes with it, into a new market. “We’re really blurring the line of indoor and outdoor space and creating a very New England-like feel. It’s exciting,” Johnson says.
For the original CoV in Wayzata, Vlahos needed to retrofit an existing space—with an airy color scheme, shiplap for days, and weathered wood-meets-yacht-club finishes—to make it fit a new type of restaurant. But this time around, the CoV brand is established and the new Galleria space was a blank slate on which the team could build to its own custom footprint and specifications. “The space has been fully designed to fit their feel, their brand,” says Johnson.CoV is part of a 65,000-square-foot expansion and remodeling project at the Galleria which will bring in eight to ten new stores and 45,000 square feet of redevelopment on the east end of the center where Barnes & Noble formerly stood before moving into its new space on the lower level. Most notably, the main corridor has been realigned through a grand, covered entrance with CoV just off to the side.
To make the most of the blank slate and coveted spot, Vlahos brought in Minneapolis-based architecture firm Shea, who had also developed the Wayzata space and was already familiar with the brand and the feel that would need to be created in Edina. To help achieve an indoor-outdoor feel in the middle of a suburban shopping complex, the Shea team installed gigantic glass doors across the front to bring in fresh air in the warmer months and natural light year-round. Soft seating, fire pits and an expansive terrace wrap around two sides of the restaurant. Just as CoV Wayzata beckons boaters to come in for a bite to eat, the outdoor space in Edina will entice shoppers on foot.
This new addition is part of a wider effort at diversifying and expanding the offerings at Edina’s premier shopping destination. “What we were looking to do was broaden the restaurant mix—provide an experience that’s really unique for our visitors,” says Johnson. “CoV is a fantastic fit for the Galleria, and it complements the other restaurants, while being totally in line with the health, wellness and quality people are looking for.”