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Heidi's closing

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        1. Closed permanently as of last night, Woodman's divorcing.

          8 Replies
            1. re: sandylc

              I realize it is personal, but I find it incredible that not one Twin City food journalist could break this story. It's not like Heidi's was some one-star restaurant. It was considered a Top 10, maybe ever Top 5, restaurant in the Twin Cities. Yet not one of them could get this story and it gets broke on Chowhound? Another low water mark for the Twin Cities food media. Maybe they can stop eating hamburgers now and actually pay attention to the news that really matters.

              Best of luck to both Shef and Heidi in whatever and where ever their lives lead them next.

              1. re: Db Cooper

                What makes you think that the story broke here? City Pages had it just after 1 p.m.

                1. re: mcgeary

                  I meant more here vs the two mainstream papers which I try to check over my lunch break and who, I assume, are paying their staff more than the web based entities. Perhaps I was just ahead of their posts.
                  I don't have time to check every website over lunch regarding the food scene in Minneapolis. I see the Star has a blurb now.

                  In any event, rather sad news. Especially for those with RW reservations.

                  1. re: american_idle

                    I didn't source it as I'm not a journalist and i posted it on my lunch break. Of note, Eater.com didn't feel the need to credit CP.

                    1. re: american_idle

                      I'm not sure City Pages broke it, either -- the Woodmans' press agent sent a mass email statement.

                      Regardless, it's sad. I don't live in the Twin Cities anymore but have fond memories of Heidi's 1.0.

              2. re: american_idle

                Ah, sad. Never been a fan of Stewart-the-personality, but this news is kind of crushing. Best of luck to Stewart and Heidi and their children.


              3. Heidi's closure caused the bank to foreclose immediately and seized all funds, so the staff didn't get paid for all of October:


                11 Replies
                1. re: american_idle

                  Yes, there are definitely hazards as a business owner of just throwing in the towel. Lots and lots of stakeholders may be affected: business partners, vendors, employees, bankers, investors, customers... Instead of starting a crowd-sourcing campaign, the former employees should hurry up and file for unemployment, the ultimate crowd-sourced compensation, and start looking for work so they can remain eligible to receive benefits. My fear would be that anything they raise from the crowd-sourcing fund might simply reduce their unemployment benefits down the road, and might actually confuse matters and possibly delay their benefits.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    The unemployment situation might get murkier with publicly stating you're foregoing employment for a week off.

                    I found it puzzling that employees only appear to get paid once a month? Or at least the tip portion was monthly?

                    1. re: american_idle

                      Yeah, it probably isn't a great idea to say out loud on behalf of everyone that you're taking the week off, even though, frankly, that's probably a totally understandable, human thing to do.

                      It's confusing, but someone on the link says this: "Here are the facts: Heidi's Minneapolis retained all employee tips from cc transactions until the following payroll date, gaining full control of this tip money for up to several weeks"...and someone else says "Central Bank would not [...] cash my paycheck on 10/16. The reason they gave was insufficient funds."

                      So, assuming payday was on 10/16 and payroll is every two weeks but is at least a few days in arrears, let's say through the previous Friday 10/11, then the 10/16 payroll, which at least one individual claimed was returned by the bank, would have been for the first two weeks of Oct and maybe even a couple of days of Sept. If the bank returned the 10/16 payroll and they hadn't yet processed the 10/30 payroll (because that would be tomorrow) for hours worked through 10/25 in my example, then yeah, you lose out on all your pay for hours worked through 10/22. About 3 weeks worth of pay for time worked.

                      Also, it appears that maybe cc receipts from a pay period were typically paid in the following pay period. I wouldn't think that's too unusual because it might take awhile to tabulate all of that, but who knows. Someone in the link says that's not how it's done.

                      The sad facts appear to be that there are some people who didn't get paid. Employees and probably some vendors. Even with the best of intentions, the Woodmans may not have much say. The bank is apparently in control now.


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I had even glossed over the mention that someone tried to cash a check before Heidi's closed forever last week. So when Heidi's says the bank took everything once they announced they were closing, were they referring to the original 3 month wind down, or to the abrupt announcement last week?

                        1. re: american_idle

                          It could have been either, I suppose, as those dates weren't that far apart, but if the bank pulled the rug on Oct 11 or so, it seems Heidi's should have "closed forever" on about Oct 12, sooner than Oct 22. My guess is the bank took it all after Oct 22, but that the restaurant was floundering before that, hence the apparent NSF check

                          Sad for everyone.


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            The question is how much Birdhouse affected the financial health of Heidi's. And for that matter, the personal relationship between Stewart and Heidi.

                            We'll likely never know, but that has to be a huge part of this whole story.

                            1. re: Db Cooper

                              I'm sure all of those things played a part.


                      2. re: american_idle

                        Jason DeRusha is asserting on twitter that some restaurants pay tips nightly.


                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          When the Chow Hubby worked at a steak chain downtown, all servers were paid out at the end of the night on whatever the tips were. Cash or credit card. 95% of the tabs were CC. The POS figures everything out.

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            I think it's fairly standard for servers to leave each shift with all of their tips.

                    2. I do not think there is going to be a Heidi's 3.0......

                      1 Reply
                      1. over the years it seems that woodman has displayed a lack of diplomacy. he should learn when to keep quiet. his twitter posts (reconstructed on eater http://minneapolis.eater.com/archives...
                        )suggest that he does not know when to pause and consider if his comments actually contribute...

                        1 Reply
                        1. "Well, he is the Shefzilla." yeah that is the problem. basic business knowledge would have gone a long way here Shefzilla solipsism was not that helpful, it really makes me admire the way guys like Paul Kahan, and Donald J. Madia combine different skill sets to create something they could not do alone. of course they are in another league...

                          1. Interesting. Channel 4 reports that an attorney for the bank says no funds have been frozen; they will honor any checks presented to them if there are funds present to cover them.

                            1. it is sounding more and more like just another Stewart Woodman tantrum....

                              1. Wouldn't the owners using money that customers paid for tips for their own usage be considered theft and fraud?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: gryffindor249

                                  As much as I'm not a fan of ol' Stews attitude (never ate there), I highly doubt they broke any laws. He liked to make a HUGE deal about his Stages (visiting chefs for those that don't know) got paid (this is not the norm). I imagine it came down to miscommunication especially with the abrupt closing.

                                2. heidi's was delinquent in taxes, so it appears this problem has a history mr. woodman has not been acknowledging.


                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: zfwp

                                    Happens all the time and not automatically indicative that something is about to fold or something nefarious is afoot.

                                    1. re: american_idle

                                      yes i am aware getting behind in liquor taxes happens all the time. but it does not happen all the time combined with the principal walking out the door while missing payroll. if you mean this happens all the time i would say that when it does it usually means many things.... i guess i am taking a broader perspective than you are.

                                  2. Why is there so much discussion about why Heidi's closed, and under what conditions? I can understand asking whether it will open again, but this level of disucsion, to me, levels the National Enquirer. They're getting divorced, restuarant went down. Nothing to see poeple, move along.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: foreverhungry

                                      I don't think the divorce has anything to do with the closure, or at least the discussion around it. The closure is surrounded in mystery and controversy, former employees calling Shef to the carpet. Shef sniping as per usual on Twitter. People are out a combined $50,000 using Heidi's October payroll and another $10,000 apparently owed from May due to Birdhouse closure. That's kind of a big deal and easily warrants discussion.

                                      1. re: foreverhungry

                                        I think the crowd-sourcing for back-pay is an unusual move and worth of discussion, frankly.


                                      2. Its ridiculous to dismiss past due taxes "it happens all the time."
                                        Lets review the cash cycle of a restaurant. Diner eats and either pays cash or with a credit card which will clear within 3 days. Yet, your vendors give you what? 15 days to pay them. More in the case of the taxes. The only reason to be behind in paying taxes is due to mismanagement.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Moroco Topo

                                          It clearly happens all the time. Are all of those places going to close? Nope. There are like 9 Famous Dave's on it. I haven't heard anything about 9 Famous Dave's closing. In the restaurant business, it's quite common and usually not a big deal. Is the mismanagement a small business owner being forgetful, just a bit behind on things (10 days = delinquent), or is it willful mismanagement and fraud? It's generally not the last one.

                                          Other big names on list:

                                          Matt's Bar
                                          Gandhi Mahal
                                          Luci Ancora
                                          Al Vento
                                          Red's Savoy
                                          Myth Nightclub

                                          It would be pretty big news if any of these closed their doors as well.

                                          1. re: american_idle

                                            seems like it was the last one on this occasion

                                        2. in response to the question why everyone seems interested in woodman's failure I must add that he acted as a self appointed moralist who used the internet to pontificate on the culinary scene. he claimed for his own an ethical authority that has long rubbed many the wrong way.

                                          27 Replies
                                            1. re: zfwp

                                              People who tend to have strong opinions are going to do that, rub people the wrong way. I've agreed and disagreed with what Mr. Woodman has written in the past. But I loved the fact he was out there with an opinion vs. the boring drivel you get out of the vast majority of the chefs in this town. I find myself far more annoyed by the Travail guys and their claim that they are "Democratizing Fine Dining." You want to talk about incredible self-appointed arrogance, there you go.

                                              People are also interested because Heidi's was a four-star restaurant in this town. Those usually don't go under and when they do it's big news. The last one I remember causing this much news was Levain.

                                              1. re: Db Cooper

                                                it is a bit more than "strong opinions" I often felt that woodman was telling tales for his own ego's sake. he felt he could control the media to enhance his reputation. I remember when he went on a tirade about the quality of fish in this town and how he was bringing in new quality fish from his own distributors. it turned out that he owed costal seafoods money and they sued him. so of course he had to turn it into a self-aggrandizing tirade...
                                                he just seems like a bucket full of temper tantrums.

                                                1. re: zfwp

                                                  "I often felt that woodman was telling tales for his own ego's sake"

                                                  Yet Lenny Russo got a column in the Star Tribune to do much the same thing. I missed all the complaining about that.

                                                  1. re: Db Cooper

                                                    " I missed all the complaining about that."

                                                    OH! do not get me started!!!!!

                                                    1. re: Db Cooper

                                                      The best was when they were sniping at each other.

                                                  2. re: Db Cooper

                                                    Travail chose a dopey tagline to their Kickstarter fund. Not worth getting annoyed by. The real issue is should successful for-profit businesses need / use crowdsourcing? I like the guys, but I found it gouache, and hope that the "extra" they got can be put to some kind of communal good.

                                                    1. re: american_idle

                                                      Wrong thread? Not sure how Travails kickstarter fits in with Heidis closing unless I'm missing something?

                                                      1. re: phokingood

                                                        It's a reponse to a DB Cooper post. It's somewhat off topic, to the mods of the single most overly modded boards in all of the Internet will delete it eventually.

                                                        1. re: american_idle

                                                          Ah sorry about that! I thought I carefully read everything posted in this thread. Sorry again.

                                                      2. re: american_idle

                                                        We'll just agree to disagree. I think it's the height of arrogance to think the three of them are going to undo a century of dining. Just my opinion which I think I can have. Though others seem to disagree

                                                        1. re: Db Cooper

                                                          That's cool. I just never took it as an actual statement, just a line to wrap around the campaign. Whereas I do believe Woodman believes he is the best / smartest / always right / etc., but shuttering two places in a year might indicate otherwise.

                                                          1. re: Db Cooper

                                                            no Db there is no disagreeing here. I guess I just find woodman more dishonest and manipulative, his opinions might be interesting if they did not always seem to be covering a personal failing like in the coastal seafoods lawsuit.

                                                          2. re: Db Cooper

                                                            Last I checked, a chef's job was to make great food not entertain us all with their insightful and childish internet web bloggings.

                                                            Boring drivel? Seems to me many of the other chef's in this town were busy spending time with their food, their staff, and their loved ones than pontificating on every type of shit no one cares more about than food...bigger difference is: those chef's still have restaurants.

                                                            Stewart has made himself a public figure, who speaks before he thinks (some would call it opinionated, others, childish) and those of us who think a cooking professional and a loudmouth are largely irreconcilable, revel in our being proven right again.

                                                            1. re: Foureyes137

                                                              I'm surprised that so many of the people here bashing the Shefzilla website clearly took the time to read it. If it is that bad, aren't their other websites on the Internet that would be more worth your time?

                                                              I guess I'm in the camp that Heidi's did put out great food. I'd easily have put it in the Top 10 restaurants in the Twin Cities as a total dining experience.

                                                              I guess I'm too old, but I don't revel in anyone's failings anymore. Maybe I've just had a few of my own and wouldn't want to think anyone took any satisfaction in them. But to each their own.

                                                              1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                People that hate Howard Stern / Right Wing Radio / whatever tend to listen longer than the people that agree with them. I routinely read Infowars.com because I find the lunacy entertaining. Doesn't mean I agree or endorse it. Same with Shefzilla.

                                                                His single podcast he did, I found his tone completely different and he came off really well. I wish that person was the more media-present one.

                                                                1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                  "I'm surprised that so many of the people here bashing the Shefzilla website clearly took the time to read it."

                                                                  it is not that simple coop. I read just enough of woodman's rantings to realize I wanted nothing to do with him (his "review of Russo's oxtail soup comes to mind). I ate at Heidi's 1.0 on a mediocre night. it was OK. at the time I was traveling a lot and decided to have my best meals in Chicago. the comparison of Paul Kahan to woodman Chicago afforded me made me think of woodman as a clown with a predisposition towards tantrums.

                                                                  people are not reveling in his failings they rather are confirming their worst suspicions and are concluding that their suspicions were warranted.

                                                                  1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                    Oh, most certainly. I have not read Shefzilla in at least three years. Same goes for Andrew Zimmern's blatherings.

                                                                    That said: I've been working under the assumption that he went on being a jackass. If this is not the case, I suppose we owe him another opportunity as one thing I can't say is that I haven't enjoyed his food.

                                                                    ...but having friends that worked at Five, and then Heidi's one and two, I sorta doubt he became a measured, diplomatic, and thoughtful prognosticator in the intervening years. Someone let me know if I got it wrong.

                                                                    And there is a big difference between reveling in the affirmation of one's own perceptions and reveling in another's failings. I take no pleasure in someone else's having failed. I did not care when Heidi's was open and Stewart was married, and I do not care now. I am trying to respond to why many of us believe Stewart is his own worst enemy in the competition for our dining dollars.

                                                                2. re: Db Cooper

                                                                  "You want to talk about incredible self-appointed arrogance, there you go"

                                                                  You might want to rethink this statement. I believe everyone who donated to their kickstarter understands what they meant.

                                                                  1. re: phokingood

                                                                    No, I don't have to rethink it. I am of the belief that anyone who donated their money to a for-profit business is a sap. Give us your money and we'll give you ...... A reservation!!!!

                                                                    Somewhere, PT Barnum is smiling and saying something about a sucker being born every minute.

                                                                    1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                      Everyone pays for a service. Why are people saps if they are helping someone that provides a service for them that no one else can or will do? This allows them to control their food and creative flow without a bunch of investors dictating their pace and product.

                                                                      You understand the kickstarter contributors get something in return other than an amazing restaurant right?

                                                                      I know, this new age stuff is for the birds. Let corporate murica provide all of our needs and suck out every bit of creativity for the shareholders greater good.

                                                                      1. re: phokingood

                                                                        I understand the idea. I just wouldn't give my money to it. Because at the end of the day, I personally don't believe that I'm receiving a service that one else can or will do. It's food and last time I checked, that service is being provided by quite a few people in town.

                                                                        And while Travail was good, I wouldn't put it in the category of amazing by any means. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but that's mine.

                                                                        1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                          Yeah, I cannot argue with how you feel about it.

                                                                          I'm interested in what you find amazing in Mpls area?

                                                                          1. re: phokingood

                                                                            La Belle Vie is simply our best dining experience in the Twin Cities. Nothing else comes close. If I had to take someone important out for a night, that is where we'd go.

                                                                            Restaurant Alma is the best "neighborhood fine-dining" restaurant. The flavors they are able to develop there are one of a kind. But not have a liquor license is a downer because sometimes you want something more than beer and wine. So it rates below LBV for that reason.

                                                                            I have been traveling a lot recently, but know that I need to get to Bourough. I've been hearing and reading a lot of great things.

                                                                            There's other little things I find amazing, but aren't in the context of fine dining.

                                                                            1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                              I've also heard great things about Borough. Going to 112 eatery next week. We were supposed to go to Alma tonight for a B-Day dinner but they couldn't accommodate the size of the party.

                                                                              La Belle Vie has been on my list for quite some time but hasn't been in my wallet. Hopefully soon.

                                                                              These are all what I would expect to be on a list of Amazing food.

                                                                            2. re: phokingood

                                                                              112 Eatery, sorry to but in. Alma also.

                                                                3. Lets have peace for at least 15 min. It was a loss......

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ibew292

                                                                      It was a great loss to the TC. I do find the speculation below comical and somewhat inaccurate including some of the news sources.

                                                                    2. Folks, we removed some posts from here that were really getting into speculating about personal details. If you have actual news articles or reliably sourced information, that's fine, but please don't speculate about people's legal situation.


                                                                      1. Some updates at the link below. Article also contains links to other chapters in this saga.