Anne Spaeth, owner of The Lynhall, senses our collective fatigue with the crises of 2020 and she wants to provide some comfort and nourishment to the community as we head into the new year. The Lynhall opened its second location in Edina this past summer after enduring a pandemic related shutdown of its Minneapolis location followed by being boarded up for a time during unrest in the city. “Having this place [in Edina] has been like having a new baby,” Spaeth says. “In Edina, people have very much shown that they are comfortable dining in and that gives us hope because we cannot survive on just take-out and delivery.”
One can see why diners would appreciate the Edina Lynhall’s spacious and airy atmosphere. The high ceilings, long tables and locally sourced decor feels relaxed and inviting without feeling too cozy amid an ongoing pandemic. And the team is committed to providing nourishment beyond food with collaborative local events on the new Nolan Mains plaza at 50th and France. By extending the work of its Nourish speaker series, Spaeth hopes to offer in person and webinar-based events geared toward helping people build resilience in their bodies and minds. She speaks from the heart regarding our much-needed sense of fortitude during these times. “When people talk to me about starting a business, I say, ‘the idea is the easy part.’ Next to having children, this has been the most humbling experience of my life, to be a business owner in a pandemic and during riots.”
Spaeth is encouraged by the outpouring of support from the local Edina business community. She says, “We had people coming over during construction, so excited and wanting us to succeed so they might also succeed.”
Being in Edina also fits perfectly with Spaeth’s vision for The Lynhall. She lived in London and traveled the world with her financial executive husband whom she jokingly blames for her developed obsession with quality food. She says, “In London, I loved that I could go into a darling little café and pick up a beautiful roasted chicken with broccoli … I’m not a cook. My husband has always been the cook in our family, but he was traveling for work and [in London] I felt like I could feed my young son good, nourishing food made with fresh ingredients. I could have an instant meal and feel confident I was putting healthy food in his body.”
Spaeth says she discovered how good food could taste and how quality ingredients make such a difference. Her husband has since ventured into cattle ranching in Wyoming causing Spaeth to also gain an awareness of how animal management can affect the taste of meat. She notes how even vegetables can taste better when they come from soil that is lovingly tended without the use of pesticides. All of this has culminated into Spaeth’s realization that there was an opportunity here for someone to create that European kind of elevated food experience for busy professionals, families and empty nesters.
A big part of what The Lynhall is known for is its house-made pastries and breads that then become the basis of its brunch and sandwich options. But Spaeth wants people to know about the restaurant’s “spectacular dinners with multiple roasted meats, fish and family style meal options.” Expanded dinner hours mean diners can enjoy The Lynhall’s elevated meal experience in a comfortable, relaxed environment where there’s no need to get dressed up in order to get good food.
Spaeth says The Lynhall has expanded its dinner menu and more take-out and delivery options are available for guests who still don’t feel comfortable dining inside a restaurant. Innovation born of necessity was aided by a friend. During last spring’s shutdown, a friend of Spaeth’s in Florida called to ask how she could help. She resolved to purchase 30 Lynhall meals for other friends in the metro and asked if Spaeth would deliver them. Spaeth said “sure,” and she personally cruised all over the Twin Cities delivering meals. “I saw a lot of the Twin Cities,” says Spaeth who, as a hockey mom, was surprised to discover that her many excursions to metro ice rinks could leave so much still unseen. But, more than that, the endeavor sparked an idea and Spaeth began to ponder the possibility that people might subscribe to at least weekly dinner deliveries from The Lynhall; a take on those home delivery meal kits, except you don’t have to cook the meal!
She says, “People love the convenience of technology, so if we can figure out how much of an appetite diners have for regular meal delivery, and if we could tweak the delivery model and demonstrate that amazing food can be delivered directly to your door and you only have to pop the box and put it on your table …” this could be a game changer. “This neighborhood has already demonstrated to us that there is likely that level of support,” says Spaeth. And once even more diners get acquainted with The Lynhall experience, we assume local support will continue to grow.
As this issue went to press, Minnesota restaurants were limited to takeout and delivery only. Please support local restaurants by ordering takeout whenever dine-in service is not an option.