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May 4, 2011 05:46 PM

Graduation dinner resto RECS

It has been around 20 years since I last trod the canyons of MSP, so I have lost track of the "better" dining establishments.

But I have two grandchildren graduating this spring, and want to host a family gathering in their honor. One grandchild graduates from Law School (yes, she has a job), and the other from high school.

Problem is that, becuz of the MSHSL baseball playoffs, we can't settle on a firm date until the grandson's team either wins, or is out of the tournament. We'll know around early June.

Looking for restaurant recs for a group of around 15, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and the like, age 7 -70+, for a family gathering. Prefer a private room so we can chat and have fun with the graduates without being a bother to other diners. Price, no big deal, we get together infrequently, and the party is the the objective.

So, resto recs for preferably the NE, Western, or SW that might accomodate this diverse wanted. Thought of Jax, Kincaids, or ???????????? Or, who can accomodate such a diverse group on short notice in a private room? Cuisine is not a big deal, but, at my age, old fashioned places are my personal preference.


Grandpa John

Jax Cafe
1928 University Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55418

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  1. Congrats! Recently I was at M Street Cafe in the basement of the St. Paul Hotel and noted they have private rooms--seat up to 60 people, I think? And I would think it leans towards "old fashioned." I don't know anything more about it than that, but if it interests you, you might check into it.


    1. Congratulations on the graduations.

      I had mine at Kozlak's Royal Oak in Shoreview. That place kinds of gets forgotten in the shuffle, but they serve what I consider to be a quality meal. There is a lot of variety on the menu and the room is decorated thoughtfully and seems to ooze old world class. For a college graduation, this place would seemed to fit the bill perfectly for us (we had 10 people total) and it might work well for you too.

      I'm not sure how they handle larger parties, but the Kozlak family clearly has the experience between their restaurants in helping Twin Cities residents celebrate their most important Milestones.

      Kozlak's Royal Oak Restaurant
      4785 Hodgson Road, Shoreview, MN 55126

      1. BTW: The owners of Kozlak's Royal Oak also own Jax

        Jax Cafe
        1928 University Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55418

        Kozlak's Royal Oak Restaurant
        4785 Hodgson Road, Shoreview, MN 55126

        2 Replies
        1. re: Db Cooper

          Bulldog has a very nice private room.

          Bulldog NE
          401 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

          1. re: SmartCookie

            I think the Bulldog franchises are fine bars. But they are places, at least to me, you go for happy hour or to hang out with your friends. They are much more about the drink than they are about the food.

            The Bulldog's menu consists mainly of bar food and hamburgers. You only graduate from college once. I'm not sure a Juicy Lucy and Tater Tots is how you want to mark the occasion. The room might be private, but the poster seems to be looking for recs that have a little more of a refined feel to them. The last thing I'd think of when I think of Old-Fashioned, which the poster says he prefers, is the Bulldog.

        2. The Lexington has a suitable private room, and it's definitely of the classic tradition. Food has always been solid if not outstanding, and they recently hired a new chef (with a change of ownership) though I haven't been since then.