Wednesday, September 5, 2007

South Tonka Restaurant Scene, revisited

Last month, on this very blog, I commented on how the restaurant scene in the area seemed very healthy. There were plenty of new establishments in the area, and by my layperson's standards they all seemed to be doing OK.

Then I drove by Big Buck's Roadhouse, or at least what used to be Big Buck's Roadhouse. My first thought was that I jinxed them. I wrote that I had been hearing good things about them, and then they promptly went out of business. But then I realized that they had seemingly changed restaurants overnight... you see, they are already open again with the name of Prima Minnetonka. When a business closes, goes through the process of liquidation, the landlord finds a new tenant, they renovate the building, and then open, it is certainly not an overnight affair.

To make a long story short, Big Buck's Roadhouse "changed" to a new Italian-themed restaurant. It is operated by the same owners, who also operate Three Fish and Prima Minneapolis, two establishments that seem to be standing the test of time. One can only speculate that with Maynards, Fletchers, and Haskells already in the area, and the standard suburban Applebee/Houlihan/Timber Lodge genre along the Hwy 5 corridor, there wasn't room for another bar and grill in the area.

Prima Minnetonka looks like it will fill a niche between Joey Nova and Biella. The menu looks a bit Macaroni Grill-ish, which I think could do pretty well in the area.


  1. I noticed the new Italian restaurant, too, while driving the other night, and was likewise amazed by the quick transition from an animal carcas haven to a noodle and sauce bonanza. It's amazing how some things take months or years to be resolved, yet other things can be done with the flip of a switch.

    Regardless of what they're serving at the Prima Roadhouse, the location is not ideal. It's visible, but awkward to get to.

  2. I agree. The awkwardness of the location will also hurt whatever is in that spot. The same was true of the old Syndey's location along Hwy 7.

  3. I took my family to Prima Minnetonka a couple nights ago. I was very impressed. It is the type of place that works well for kids, but could also pass as a date restaurant. Food was excellent. I hope they can do well with this new theme.