Eden Avenue Grill reopens early this month as The Hilltop after being closed for renovation. When asked what sparked the makeover, co-owner Brett Johnson says, “A big inspiration was my dad and my family.” Johnson’s dad and co-owner Ken purchased the building in 1978 and ran it as the Pantry for 20 years. The Pantry was then slightly remodeled in 1998 and became Eden Avenue Grill. Regarding the latest remodel, Johnson says he wanted to create a spot that he would feel comfortable in with his family and friends, and the timing was right.
The Johnsons hired the renowned Shea, Inc., a Minneapolis design firm whose local clients have included restaurants Spoon and Stable and COV. “It’s [going to be] gorgeous,” says Johnson. There will be plenty of room for patrons to eat and drink at the new 18-seat bar, and the dining room will host a plethora of cozy booths. The menu will feature new items such as flatbreads, sliders and shareable appetizers, but classic burgers and open-faced sandwiches remain on the menu, as will other favorites. The restaurant’s take-out system is also getting an overhaul. “We want to streamline the process, make it easy for the consumer,” says Johnson.
Head chef Bruce Bjorkman, who has worked with the family since the beginning, will remain at the restaurant, along with other long-time employees. When asked why he thinks their staff is so dependable, Johnson says, “A lot of it boils down to my pops.” Johnson says his father’s strong work ethic and positive attitude is contagious.