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Scalzo's Italian Grille

Overview

In 2009 Scalzo Hospitality Inc. acquired and began managing the Minneapolis Ramada Plaza Hotel. They invested over three million dollars in renovations, remodeling, and upgrades on the entire property. The last piece of the puzzle was what to do with the existing restaurant on site currently named; The Northern Point Lodge. Their hope was to have a modern restaurant that matched its new surroundings in the beautiful modern décor that had been created throughout the rooms and common areas to deliver on an “Urban Chic” trend that is very popular in downtown Minneapolis.

Challenges

The Northern Lights restaurant was decorated in a rustic log cabin motif, complete to oars and snowshoes mounted upon the log walls. The current Chef was also a holdover from the existing restaurant and specialized in what he had described as Minnesota Comfort food. Business Travelers and even casual travelers consistently remarked as to how “out of date” and “over the top” the kitsch factor of the restaurant was.

Solutions Implemented

The Restaurant was stripped down to the sheet rock and redesigned as a Modern Italian Bistro which would focus on a menu of rustic Italian dishes prepared in new ways under the guidance of a new Chef and Staff. Lunch Specials and buffets were completely made over to reflect the new offerings and appeal not only to the guests of the hotel, but now the restaurant draws a significant business from surrounding companies as well as it is one of only a few sit down choices in the neighborhood. Sterling Cross conducted the launch of a full PR and Media Campaign to gain the new restaurant full exposure, in the Twin Cities, as a vibrant new dining choice which is only minutes from the heart of Downtown Minneapolis.

The Scalzo’s name is actually the family name of the hospitality company and the family that owns it. The family emigrated directly from Sicily and built their Hospitality Company here in the United States. Scalzo’s Italian Grille has become a restaurant to be proud of as The Northern Lights has been relegated to history.

Services Provided for Client

  • Media Relations & Publicity
  • Marketing & Concept Development

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