Coalition expanding to 50th and France neighborhood

Coalition restaurant is expanding to the 50th and France neighborhood this spring. Their new location will be at 3808 W. 50th St., Minneapolis. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) Coalition in Excelsior. (Photo courtesy of Sue Crag, suecraig.com)
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Coalition restaurant is expanding to the 50th and France neighborhood this spring. Their new location will be at 3808 W. 50th St., Minneapolis. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer)

The Excelsior-based restaurant Coalition is expanding and will open May 1 in the 50th and France neighborhood.

Owners Chef Eli Wollenzien and Deacon Eells will open their second Coalition Restaurant at 3808 W. 50th St., Minneapolis. The location was previously the site of Pearson’s and then it was split into Pig and Fiddle and the 50th Street Cafe, which Eells formerly worked briefly. They are renting the site of the 50th Street Cafe.

The pair opened Coalition in Excelsior in 2014. The high-quality American menu has been a hit and now they are hoping to expand their signature style.

“We’ve had a lot of success in Excelsior with the concept we do, with American food of a little higher quality, smaller menus, smaller seating capacity and a little more intimate and neighborhood feeling than some of the big restaurants and it fits 50th and France very well,” Wollenzien said. “The similarities are easy to see on what Water Street in Excelsior is becoming and this being in the Fulton neighborhood that is a really fun area.”

Excelsior Coalition co-owners, left to right, Chef Eli Wollenzien and Deacon Eells are now expanding to the 50th and France district in Minneapolis.  (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer)
Excelsior Coalition co-owners, left to right, Chef Eli Wollenzien and Deacon Eells are now expanding to the 50th and France district in Minneapolis. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer)

Wollenzien began remodeling the site last week and hope to open sometime from mid-April to May 1.

Wollenzien said the 50th and France location will start out with the same menu as the Excelsior site, and will then expand from there.

“We will start with same menu but in a year will expand the menu to be very different,” he said. “Here I think people will be interested in a different type of food.”

The menu takes its inspiration from classic American dishes like beef, lamb, pork and walleye, creatively prepared, vibrantly presented and influenced by cuisines around the world.

“I know a lot of people would love to be in the 50th and France neighborhood,” Wollenzien said. “Luckily we had an in and our concept fits well here. Obviously there is a lot of food here but there’s a lot of themed (food) and ours is bringing American food done right.”

The menu has a variety of starters from a smoked fish board to Korean tacos. Coalition also serves a variety of salads from apple Brie to grilled shrimp. Entrées include short rib risotto to lamb sugo.

Eells said that, unlike the Excelsior location, the 50th and France site will offer breakfast throughout the week.

“This area is changing,” Wollenzien said. “Pearson’s had been there for 50 years and then the neighborhood aged with it and Pearson’s remained with younger families moving in who didn’t dig what they were doing. Then Pig and Fiddle opened up and it’s appealing to a new generation. We will do the same and our look will appeal to many of them, especially millennials.”

The restaurant will have a full liquor license, many local beers and a full wine selection.

Wollenzien said that he wants to assure the neighborhood that the restaurant’s liquor license will not be an issue.

He said, “People are very concerned about a liquor license but we’re not going to have a late night vibe. We are a family neighborhood place.”

The 50th and France Coalition will seat up to 100 patrons, including 20 seats in the four-season porch. The restaurant also has a parking lot that accommodates 70 cars.

The layout of the 50th and France will be similar to the Excelsior location and it will include the same rustic modern feel. A brighter color palette will be used to brighten up the space.

For more information, visit coalitionrestaurant.com.

Contact Paige Kieffer at paige.kieffer@ecm-inc.com.