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Oct 2, 2013 08:26 PM

Fika news?

Has anyone heard that Fika has changed hands? That the chef is now on a farm in Wisconsin. And that it's been bought by Tim McKee?

I hope I'm not just rumor-mongering. Actually I do hope I am because I so much loved what that original chef was doing.

Maybe it's been sold but he'll be coming back?

He brought so much passion and creativity and uniqueness to it.

Anyone heard anything?

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  1. We decided to go to Fika's tonight. And so I asked our server if their chef had left.

    She said he had, about a month ago. For "personal reasons." And is supposedly on a farm in Wisconsin.

    She said an outfit based in Texas now owns the restaurant. It also owns Sea Change, she said. And the restaurant at the George Bush Library in Texas. Looks like they might team up with nonprofits. Our waitress said the sous-chefs had learned from the founding chef and that they would be running it.

    I did a little digging and found this by the Swedish Institute for their volunteers:

    It looks like the firm will be operating the restaurant, not necessarily owning it. (?) And that the Institute wanted to do much more catering. Maybe more than their original chef wanted to do? Who knows?

    I just think he brought a lot of uniqueness and creativity to the place. And don't know if a firm aiming for more output can replicate that.

    2 Replies
    1. re: karykat

      Thanks for the detective work, karykat! Fika has been one of my favorite places, but their one shortcoming is that the menu doesn''t change often. I've got my doubts about whether the sous-chefs can revamp the menu regularly enough with the same level of excellence Fitzgerald brought to the enterprise. I hope so, but time will tell.

      1. re: Rowdy

        I wouldn't mind if the menu doesn't change if there is enough good variety on it and if the quality is high.

        I think he was doing some very experimental different things for his Wednesday night happy hours. That's what I heard anyway. Those Wednesday nights may have been his creative outlet. I hope they continue those. I think they would be a fantastic happy hour option. Wonderful unique food, a very nice setting and easy parking.

    2. As far as I know, Dustin and Sam, the chef de cuisines, have been driving the menu for about 6 months, so I would be confident that the execution will remain strong. As far as the purchase goes, I believe the management group that has taken over is Culinaire, who also do operate sea change, and they are pretty supportive of the creative aspects of the food, and will allow them to maintain the status quo. They are aiming to grow the catering aspect, I would assume. Tim McKee is, I believe, an employee of that company in the Guthrie operation. I don't know for sure about all that but that's what I have heard.