It’s been a doozy of a ride for just/us, to put it mildly.
In a well-documented arc, the low-key prix fixe establishment formerly housed in St. Paul’s old Red Lantern space self-evicted in solidarity with its neighbors, after new developers bought the space and imposed a sudden 500% rent increase on tenants (most of whom were individual renters unable to shoulder such a brutal curveball).
The restaurant's five-person crew subsequently went on hiatus for the next eight months as they sought a new home for some of their most show-stopping dishes. But now, there’s nothing but enthusiasm pouring from just/us as they’re back... in a slightly different form than before.
“Our ethics haven't changed,” says Mona Negasi, social media manager, front of house manager, and co-founder of just/us, “but our concept has quite significantly. Our new space is set up to be a venue in addition to a gastropub.”
Since December 10, just/us has been in its “soft open” phase, dialing in the new menu of bacon-wrapped plantains, burgers, fried chicken, pork belly chicarrones, and more. But now they’re finally ready to announce themselves to the world, and are hosting a multi-day grand re-opening party this weekend to kick things off properly.
The official Facebook event page speaks the truth in its proclamation about a “DOPE ASS LINE UP” (caps theirs).
On Friday, January 10 and Saturday the 11th, acts like Rhymesayer's Dem Atlas and local hip-hop legend Desdamona will hold court in the restaurant’s venue side. Come Sunday, the party continues beginning at 11 a.m. with an artist reception for Ta-Coumba Aiken, a poetry slam, and an open mic slot.
Of course, just/us will be serving food and drinks throughout all three days of celebration.
“First and foremost we are a restaurant,” explains Negasi. “But the arts in all of its billions of forms will always be our main passion. This is just the beginning of what we hope will be thousands of incredible moments, experiences, and performances on the just/us stage.”
For a full rundown of this weekend’s re-opening festivities and set times, visit the event’s Facebook page.
275 4th St. E., St. Paul