Brazilian Restaurant coming to Lyn-Lake

Brazilian food is coming to Uptown.

Just days after The Favor Café closed its doors, property owner Tom Horner – no relation to the Tom Horner of gubernatorial fame – confirmed that he recently finalized a lease agreement with new tenants for his commercial property at 913 W. Lake St. in Carag.

The property will soon become home to Brasa Viva Brazil. Co-owner Olmedo Albarando said that the new restaurant aims to fill a niche for affordable Brazilian cuisine in the Twin Cities.

Albarando was born and raised in Ecuador, though much of his family is Brazilian. He moved to New York City and fell in love with the plentitude of the city’s Brazilian options. Shortly after moving to Minneapolis, he recognized a relative dearth of Brazilian restaurants in the Twin Cities and soon began planning his own spot.

“When I came here, I said, ‘We gotta do something Brazilian causal-style in the Twin Cities,’” Albarando said.

Though the menu is still being finalized and a head chef has yet to be hired, Albarando said Brasa Viva Brazil will offer dishes like grilled chicken and ribs prepared Brazilian-style. Peanut powders, lemongrass and Brazilian spices give these American-sounding dishes a uniquely tangy flavor.

Plates will cost $8-10. Brasa Viva Brazil will eventually serve alcohol, though Albarando said the liquor license may not be in place in time for the restaurant’s opening.

The 913 W. Lake St. property has experienced a lot of turnover in recent years. It was home to the short-lived Restaurant Miami in 2007. The Favor Café managed to stay open a bit longer but went out of business earlier this month.

“I don’t think the property is jinxed. When (Favor) moved out, I was somewhat dismayed, though it wasn’t unexpected because they weren’t doing much at all,” Horner said.

Albarando and co-owner Carlos Zhagui have already begun renovating the property, and are planning for a late March or early April opening.