Classic English-style pub George and the Dragon has been revealed as the new business at 50th and Bryant, the location that was home to businesses such as Heidi’s and Patina before a destructive 2010 fire. The new pub is the brainchild of Fred Navarro, a local veteran restaurant manager, and his wife Stacy Navarro. Fred Navarro managed multiple restaurants at the Mall of America through the Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants company, and his wife is handling much of the behind-the-scenes work.
Navarro said that his decision to go out on his own has much more to do with wanting to be a part of his community than a lifelong dream to run his own restaurant. The restaurant is six blocks away from his house and only three blocks from his son’s school.
“I was pretty content with where I was at,” said Navarro. But when I found out there was an opportunity to go into that building, it was something worth exploring. We really want to give back to a neighborhood.”
Navarro said that there are countless great restaurants in south Minneapolis, but he hopes that George and the Dragon can be a place residents frequent for quality, affordable food. He hopes the pub follows the original English path of a “public house” and becomes a place for the community to gather. Navarro plans to offer up the space for community events, neighborhood meetings and fundraisers.
“If this business was just about making money I probably would have stayed in my old position,” said Navarro.
While the menu is still being finalized, Navarro said George and the Dragon will offer up traditional pub food with as many local and organic ingredients as possible. Burgers, fish and chips and bangers and mash will all be served, as well as a traditional Filipino egg roll called Lumpia. Navarro also plans for 10 beer taps and another 10 or so bottled beers.
George and the Dragon is scheduled to open on or around April 1.