This fall, chef Jorge Guzman will open a new restaurant, Petite León, in the former Blackbird Cafe space in South Minneapolis. The restaurant will serve dishes with Mexican, Spanish, French, and American influences, that aim to be approachable, creative and delicious.
“When my partners and I envisioned Petite León, we sought to create a restaurant that we would all want to eat at,” says Guzman. “At its heart, we want Petite León to be an unpretentious, neighborhood restaurant. South Minneapolis is a growing, thriving community, which combines small town comforts with big city concepts and ideas. We want to weave ourselves into the fabric of the community and give its residents a place that brings people together for delicious, carefully crafted meals.”
While everyone can look forward to Guzman’s food, meetings and events planners can also look forward to the semi-private meeting space and full buyout capabilities at Petite León. Semi-private events at the bar can accommodate up to 20 people, while full buyouts can accommodate 50 to 60 people. In terms of interior design and aesthetic, Guzman describes the restaurant space as cozy and rustic with elegant touches, citing its copper bar, white subway tiles and dark espresso weathered booths. The space will also hold three large mirrors with a vintage patina finish, and will utilize the original flooring, scuff marks and all, with a fresh stain.
Petite León will be the first restaurant from Duck Soup Hospitality, the restaurant group by Guzman and Ben Rients, in partnership with Travis Serbus and Dan Manosack. Serbus, most recently of Meteor Bar, will head the bar program. Before Petite León and Duck Soup Hospitality, Guzman was known for his position as executive chef at Surly Brewing. Food & Wine named Surly's Brewer's Table a "Restaurant of the Year" in 2016. In addition, Guzman was a semi-finalist for the James Beard “Best Chef Midwest” award in 2016, and a finalist in 2017.