Café Maude to close as restaurant changes hands

Longtime Café Maude General Manager Todd Staberg (at right) says it’s time for him to move on. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Café Maude closes July 31 and the owners are turning over the keys to an ownership group that includes restaurateur Kim Bartmann.

General Manager Todd Staberg said it’s time to put Café Maude to bed.

“It really basically boils down to: We’ve done a good job for 10 years, and I’m tired. I just need a change in my life,” said Staberg, who has worked at Café Maude since the restaurant opened.

The staff at Maude will say farewell with food and drink specials thru the end of July. Staberg said many longtime customers have said goodbye in the past week.

“It’s been kind of emotional,” he said. “We’ve touched a lot of people’s lives. People are definitely sad that we’re stopping. … I am so touched by the amount of support we’ve gotten over the years, and the outpouring of well wishes.”

The new owners include Bartmann (known for her restaurants including Barbette, Bryant Lake Bowl and Tiny Diner) and Chef Asher Miller (known for his work at the Walker Art Center’s Wolfgang Puck restaurant and Andrew Zimmern’s food truck business). They plan to refresh the dining room and patio, expand the drink menu and lean on Maude’s wood-fired grill as part of a family-friendly menu that continues the French sensibility and adds classic California influences.

“I too was a fan of Café Maude,” Bartmann said. “But I didn’t create Café Maude, so when I take it over I want to recreate it.”

She said the restaurant would draw inspiration from foundational cookbook writers like Helen Evans Brown. Author of the West Coast Cookbook, Brown celebrated fresh produce years before it was fashionable to do so, according to Saveur.

The Maude remake would feature produce from Bartmann’s farm plot at Garden Farme in Ramsey.

The new concept is slated to open in the fall at 5411 Penn Ave. S.