Piccolo’s Doug Flicker to lead Walker Art Center restaurant

A previously released rendering of the Walker's new cafe concept. Image courtesy of the Walker Art Center

Chef Doug Flicker, founder of South Minneapolis’ Piccolo and Sandcastle, will head the kitchen at the Walker Art Center’s new restaurant concept as executive chef.

The restaurant, named Esker Grove, is slated to open in early December with a menu from Flicker.

The 94-capacity restaurant, along with a 60-seat outdoor dining terrace, will serve express service for lunch and full-service dinner in the evenings, according to a release. Esker Grove, located near the museum’s new Vineland entry, will serve craft beer, crafted cocktails and a coffee menu. The menu will feature a “modern, but unfussy, approach to vegetable and grain-focused cooking using classic techniques.”

Flicker. Photo by Gene Pittman courtesy of the Walker Art Center
Flicker. Photo by Gene Pittman courtesy of the Walker Art Center

HGA and Amsterdam-based landscape firm Inside Outside are handling the restaurant’s design.

The Walker Art Center, which is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation of its campus and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, switched culinary partners earlier this year, dropping D’Amico and Partners for Culinaire International. The company also operates Sea Change at the Guthrie, FIKA at the American Swedish Institute and other concepts at a number of cultural institutions around the country.

In keeping with the art venue, Esker Grove will feature a 40-foot wall showcasing rotating art.

Esker Grove, now under construction, will be open Tuesday through Friday for lunch, weekend brunch and Tuesday through Sunday for dinner.