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MSP: Fhima's, RIP

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Fhima's in downtown St. Paul is closing for good on Saturday. Can't say I'll miss it; I tried it three times and all three times had absolutely dreadful food. I hope another restaurant goes into that space. In other St. Paul restaurant news, I read somewhere this week that Thom Pham is developing a restaurant on Mears Park. Pham should view David Fhima's financial woes as a cautionary tale about getting overextended, I think.

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  1. Oh, that's too bad. I know Fhima's wasn't universally loved by Chowhounds, but I had a couple of very memorable special-occasion meals there that were a lot of fun. (They would often offer special menus for New Years Eve, Valentine's Day, etc.) I thought the Moroccan-style ribs or whatever they're called--were especially nice.

    I do hope something wonderful replaces it!

    ~TDQ

    1. I can't say I'll mourn Fhima's either. David Fhima has good intentions, but he has no idea how to run a restaurant, both front of the house and back. Horrible food, even worse service at both Fhima's and LoTo. And I'm the biggest St. Paul booster in the world, so it pains me to say that.

      Where did you hear about the restaurant on Mears Park? That's exciting news to a Lowertown resident like me!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Dasha

        News about the Mears Park restaurant was in the small bites section of the Food section in lsat Thursday's Pi Press (if you can follow that). I agree about the overextended, but still hoping for more dining options down that way. So keeping my fingers crossed.

        1. re: Dasha

          I'm with you on the St. Paul boosterism (and also on your feelings about LoTo: blech). I'd love downtown to get a really exciting 'hound hangout. There are places that I like well enough -- Sakura, A Rebours, Tanpopo, even Pazzaluna when I'm in the right mood -- but it would be great to have something fun like the Town Talk in the neighborhood.

          Anyway, the PiPress had the news about the new spot on Thursday: it's going to be a two-story restaurant with rooftop lounge in Mears Park Center (where the Met Council offices used to be). The developer is trying to get some $ from the city, and if they do they'll start building in the fall and open early next year. Pham said he's thinking "modern Japanese" as a theme (does downtown St. Paul really need four Japanese restaurants??). But he's also planning to open a couple of places on E. Lake in Minneapolis this year, and I think Temple is still trying to get its legs.