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Union Depot Bar & Grill opens at last, with steak frites, stir-fry, and rooftop bees

The lunch crowd during Tuesday's soft open

The lunch crowd during Tuesday's soft open Union Depot Bar & Grill

After nearly $2 million in renovations, St. Paul’s Union Depot once again has a full-service restaurant.

The space that formerly housed Christos is now the aptly named Union Depot Bar & Grill, an American-style restaurant concept from Kaskaid Hospitality (which owns and operates its sibling, Union Bar & Grill, along with the Crave restaurants and Cowboy Jack’s). Kaskaid isn’t a new presence here: The Crave Catering division has been Union Depot’s exclusive caterer for the past two years.

After a soft opening earlier this week, the restaurant officially opens up today. Here’s everything you need to know.

5. The menu offers something for everyone.
“We want to have a menu that’s approachable,” says Kam Talebi, CEO and co-founder of Kaskaid. “It’s a comprehensive bar and grill menu with a comfortable price point.” Think a burrata caprese salad, steak frites, salmon, and stir fry. There will also be options for special dietary needs, including a couple of gluten-free items and a vegan burger. (The full menu is available below.)

4. Diners can appreciate Union Depot from a new vantage point.
The mezzanine level—which hasn’t been open to the public for more than five years—now features a new private dining room with a bar and seating for about 100. When it’s not being used for private events, the area will be available as public seating.

3. Renovating a historic landmark involves plenty of unknown variables.
Homeowners will be familiar with this scenario: Until you start tearing things apart, you don’t know exactly what you’re dealing with. In a written statement to City Pages, Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega says one of the largest challenges of the project—which was initially going to cost $1 million—was installing an elevator-style lift to make the mezzanine accessible. Neither the main level nor the mezzanine floors were level or sufficient to support the lift, so additional prep work was required.

The view from above

The view from above Union Depot Bar & Grill

2. One of the restaurant’s ingredients is sourced very, very locally.
A couple of signature menu items will incorporate Bee Line Honey, made in hives on Union Depot’s rooftop tended by beekeeper and Mademoiselle Miel owner Susan Brown. You’ll find it in the Bee’s Knees cocktail, and the Union Salad is topped with a honey-sweetened red wine vinaigrette.

1. The restaurant isn’t just for rail travelers and baseball fans.
“We’re excited to leverage the historic architecture and building,” says Talebi. Although the bar and grill will, of course, be a convenient option for Amtrak travelers and pre- and post-Saints game eats, “Anyone can enjoy the experience of eating in this beautiful historic space.”

Union Depot Bar & Grill
214 Fourth St. E. #110, St. Paul