A successful restaurant is built on a foundation of good food, of course, but also ambiance and comfort. Customers should be able to enjoy their meals and feel good about their visit to a restaurant—as they will if there are key building elements creating the right atmosphere. It is critical to choose a professional who will construct or remodel your establishment with your brand personality in mind and provide the best possible dining experience for your customers.
The list below includes the best restaurant contractors in Minneapolis, Minnesota. These firms were selected for their accreditations, certifications, and professional affiliations. Industry awards, client reviews, and press features were also taken into account, as well as the range of services the firms offer, their specializations, and the length of time they have been in the industry.
2737 Fairview Ave. N., St. Paul, MN 55113
Excellent craftsmanship is McGough’s hallmark, earning the company a reputation for an elite level of service that surpasses expectations. The firm reliably delivers quality output within the set timeframe and budget. The firm values not only its clients but also its employees, and its safety protocols are at the highest level. These factors make the firm one of Minnesota’s best.
Tom McGough, Jr. serves as the firm’s president and CEO. His project management expertise has propelled the company to new heights and earned loyal, repeat clients. Tom’s contributions include the implementation of scheduling procedures for a more streamlined process. McGough is an active member of the community, serving as a board member of the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Gillette Children’s Hospital. He guides his team in producing well-crafted buildings such as Grandma’s Saloon and Grill, shown here.
McGough executed the rehabilitation of the existing three-story structure. The team remodeled the office, kitchen, dining, and bar areas. An authentic antique environment was created through the use of stained glass, salvaged tin signage, and neon lights. Porcelain horses extracted from a carrousel hold up the overhead bar ceiling.
Sullivan Day Construction
730 Stinson Boulevard NE Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Founded in 1985, Sullivan Day Construction is an award-winning builder that operates with a team-driven and business-focused approach. The full-service company established itself as a commercial construction expert in the Minnesota region and carved a niche with its high-quality work and meticulous attention to detail. The firm’s exemplary work has earned many accolades, including two awards from the Minnesota Shopping Center Association (MSCA), as well as the Shopping Center Tribute Award for Retail Real Estate (STARR) in 2016 and 2018. The firm also received a General Contractor of the Year nomination from the Minnesota Real Estate Journal Awards in 2019.
The company is headed by owner and president Steve Day, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) with a strong commitment to sustainable building. Steve holds memberships in the Newsletter and Networking Committees of the MSCA and Minnesota Veterinary Medicine Association and sat formerly on the Architectural Review Commission (ARC) of Pleasant Hill, California. He is also a preferred general contractor of the Veterinary Hospital Association (VHA).
Sullivan Day’s portfolio includes childcare, education, office, restaurant, retail, and animal projects. A sample of the company’s work is this Pizza Hut location near St. Cloud State University. The space features pool tables, dartboards, and even a full-service bar. The project team overcame a significant challenge in venting the oven hood exhaust. Despite the restaurant’s first-floor location in the building, they successfully installed HVAC equipment on the roof and channeled the exhaust through the building’s additional four floors.
6465 Wayzata Blvd. Ste. 110, Minneapolis, MN 55426
In the 1920s, civil engineer Fred Watson, Sr. and architect Enock Forsberg forged a partnership based on a shared passion for construction. A generation later, Fredrick Watson and John Forsberg continued their legacy and formed the foundations of Watson-Forsberg General Contractors. Third-generation builder Dale Forsberg continues the heritage as the firm’s current president. His leadership builds on the prior foundation by bringing in contemporary methods to keep up with the constantly-evolving industry landscape.
The firm has built a solid reputation based on its work quality, honesty, and integrity. Its vast portfolio includes education, historic, office, industrial, hospitality, and recreation projects. For over 60 years, the company’s work has had a positive impact on its community through notable projects that include the Minneapolis Central Library, the Guthrie Theater, and the St. Paul Dorothy Day Center (HGSP). Sustainability is also a key component integrated into the firm’s work.
Watson-Forsberg’s craftsmanship and work ethic are evident in the McCoy’s restaurant project, shown here. Large, comfortable booths and custom cove lighting make the dining room an intimate setting. The establishment is also equipped with a private dining room for events.
33 South 6th St. Suite 4510, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Crawford Merz is a Minneapolis building powerhouse fueled by its 40-person team of craftspeople, managers, and specialists. The firm is led by president Todd Hayes, a real estate and construction management expert, who also serves as the owner of Greiner Construction. The family-owned company was established with the goal of providing high-quality construction services to the Minneapolis area. A client-driven operation complements the studio’s excellent designs, a combination that has propelled the firm’s name to industry prominence.
Since its start in 1886, the company has built a steady track record of commercial projects, spanning 134 years. The company completed more than 500 commercial projects in 2019 alone. The work includes workplace facilities, retail establishments, hospitality structures, ground-up construction, healthcare buildings, and fitness projects. The company’s quality workmanship has earned it a solid network of repeat clients over the years. The studio’s projects have been commended by local business owners and company CEOs.
Crawford Merz was the contractor for Thr3 Jack, a restaurant with six golf simulators, a sizable patio, and an indoor/outdoor bar. The space had parking ramps above and below, so Crawford Merz had to plan carefully where to drill for plumbing, electrical, and other ductwork, to avoid damaging the post-tension cabling in the concrete. The firm also had to ensure that ductwork and piping had proper clearance for the simulators without compromising esthetics.
1120 E. 80th Street Suite 211, Bloomington, MN 55420-1463
Elder-Jones was founded in 1971 by John Elder. Today, the commercial contracting and retail construction firm has grown into one of the largest, most respected general contractors in Minnesota. The firm has completed numerous projects across 49 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Its honest approach to the construction process has gained the trust of the Retail Contractors Association and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, Elder Jones builds spaces that relate to the natural environment.
John and Justin Elder guide their team in carrying out construction for a variety of retail projects, including shopping malls, restaurants, and gas stations. Shown here is Elder-Jones’s transformation of an existing retail space and former restaurant into a new juice bar. Existing plumbing lines were very shallow and presented some difficulties in maintaining proper pitch to the waste lines. On top of this, there was not enough fall in the existing sewer line connections to place a grease trap in line. The team found a grease interceptor from the previous restaurant attached to the space and worked with the landlord’s engineer to get it reconnected to the city sewer. They found a path through 100 feet of an outdoor planter and sidewalks and through a newly constructed, adjoining tenant space. Despite the unique challenge, Elder-Jones was able to turn over an on-time and gorgeous space to the client.
121 South 8th Street Suite 1200, Minneapolis MN 55402
Greiner Construction is a general contracting firm founded in 1989 that provides construction services for adaptive reuse, commercial interiors, financial, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, and multifamily projects. Throughout its practice, the firm has cemented its reputation as an integral part of the Twin Cities community. Under the leadership of President Hans Siefker, the firm takes an employee-driven, customer-focused approach that has won awards from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. Siefker is a LEED Accredited Professional and a recipient of the 40 Under 40 Award. He has authored and developed many of the strategies the firm has used to address the needs of its clients creatively while staying on top of current building trends.
One of Greiner Construction’s most prominent projects is the Trax Burgers and Bar located at the Filmore Event Center in downtown Minneapolis. The Greiner team built a unique rebar shelving and accent column with integral LED lighting, following the industrial theme of the restaurant. A large floating back bar features curved millwork extending horizontally above the bar. The firm integrated overhead glass doors with an adjacent outdoor seating area, concrete accent wall panels above the bench seating, and exposed concrete columns with raw steel angle trim.
4931 West 35th St., St. Louis Park, MN 55416
With over five decades of experience in the construction industry, Diversified Construction is a leading provider of commercial construction services in Minneapolis. The firm works with clients to understand the details of their project goals, budget, and timeline. Diversified selects the right bidder and the ideal subcontractor team for a project, and drafts a detailed proposal. This thorough and systematized process has earned the firm an MSCA STARR Award and Platinum STEP Award. Under the direction of its President and CEO James Rowland, the firm offers a wide array of permitting, construction, and post-construction services to the workplace, restaurant, retail, healthcare, and fitness markets.
One example of the firm’s work is Moderna Kouzina. One of the project’s challenges was that there was no available space to place a dumpster. Every piece of waste from the project had to be hauled by pickup truck to a dumpster at another one of Diversified Construction’s sites a few miles away. Many custom elements were designed by the owner and brought to life by Diversified Construction’s crew, including a show-stopping custom chandelier over the bar area and a skeleton pergola anchoring the lounge space. The space evolved from an over-decorated and cluttered Italian restaurant to a sophisticated and welcoming space.
7148 Shady Oak Rd., Minneapolis, MN 55344
Mission Construction, Inc. has made its mark on the industry through its focused direction, innovative solutions, and seamless execution. The firm is led by Thomas Ward, the company’s president. Ward worked as a Field Project Controls Analyst and Project Controls Engineer at Black & Veatch before joining Mission Construction. His rise to the top mirrors the firm’s steady expansion, not only in Minnesota but in several other states. Ward leads a roster of talented professionals all committed to their craft, each one driven to provide quality workmanship and a collaborative approach that ensures optimal output. A dedication to quality service has more than earned the firm’s solid base of clients for over two decades.
Over the years, the firm has crafted an efficient building process that guarantees project completion within the set budget and timeframe. The company’s projects include healthcare facilities, retail establishments, new builds, and tenant improvements. Mission Construction works with a network of architects, designers, and engineers who are all accustomed to creative ideas and cost-effective methods.
One of Mission Construction’s projects is Surly Pizza in Minneapolis. The site combines gardens, a beer hall, an event center, a restaurant, and a brewery under one roof. The upstairs features a formal restaurant and an event space. A custom, backward beer bottle Surly sign mimics the exterior signage. The bold branding and expansive dining area create a welcoming space for all guests.
Benson-Orth General Contractors
1000 Boone Ave. N. Ste. 100, Golden Valley, MN 55427
Benson-Orth General Contractors is an industry stalwart with its projects spanning over 50 years in the Minnesota region. The company owes its name to founders Ken Benson and Bob Orth, who established the practice in 1969. The two originally operated out of Benson’s house in Golden Valley. They worked on commercial and building projects, with Benson handling the sales and development aspects while Orth focused on the field operations.
Consistent quality and commitment to service have allowed the design-build firm to expand successfully for over five decades. The company is currently headed by owner Mike Monson and president Todd Lutgen, industry veterans with decades of field experience. Monson and Lutgen lead a team of professionals equipped with extensive knowledge and creative skills. This team typically works on projects that range from 5,000 to 700,000 square feet and has built a portfolio that includes shopping centers, single- and multistory offices, medical facilities, auto dealerships, hospitality buildings, and housing establishments.
Featured is the Punch Pizza project in Wayzata. Punch Pizza’s interior features bright yellow and light brick walls. The pendant ceiling lights create a warm look. The space is lined with dark wood booths and small tables, with a long, wooden, cafeteria-style table in the middle. The ordering area is bright white with a wood-burning stove reaching to the ceiling, decorated with red, orange, and blue tiles.
9050 North Highway Dr., Lexington, MN 55014
Broadview Builders is a private construction company established in 2003 with expertise in delivering quality projects for its client’s needs. The company is driven by its goal to improve facilities and provide a better environment for the end-users. The company’s core competency is its ability to build custom solutions for its clients, which has allowed Benson Builders to become well-versed in different building requirements. Rocky Radmann has cultivated a customer-driven culture within Broadview Builders. He brings more than 30 years of project management experience that includes providing privately negotiated and public sealed lump sum bids. As a previously certified building inspector, he has a good grasp of all aspects of construction, which is reflected in the company’s work.
Rocky’s efforts, along with those of his team, have resulted in this restaurant in Cottage Grove. This 3,300-square-foot project included full interior demolition and remodeling of a former Kentucky Fried Chicken into a new Famous Dave’s restaurant. The remodel took five weeks from start to finish.
Ironmark Building Company
1710 W. Lake St. #200, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Since its founding in 2011, Ironmark Building Company has built an impressive roster of projects that have earned the trust of its clients and cultivated long-lasting relationships. Ironmark has grown into one of Minnesota’s leading general contractors, executing over $600 million in contractual work with its team of industry professionals and exceptionally skilled employees. Ironmark is grounded in the principle that people come first. This explains the quality of relationships the company has fostered with top commercial architects and developers in the Twin Cities. Its entire team, from the office to the field, is dedicated to professionalism and care. President Troy Wenck is in charge of the project team, estimating, project management, and field supervision. He employs a close group of highly skilled associates and works with thousands of tradespeople who strive to build quality projects for clients.
The Hazelwood restaurant is a testament to the team’s dedication to foresight and planning on every project. Hazelwood’s lively space is kept airy and open by a wood-barrel ceiling, showcasing a custom, tiered chandelier. The restaurant’s warm, energetic mood is punctuated by an eclectic seating mix and tongue-in-cheek artwork featuring woodland animals, bringing a sense of whimsy to the space.
10908 171st Avenue NW Suite C, Elk River, MN 55330
Rooted in client-centric service, Heritage Construction Companies LLC crafts spaces that improve how people and their communities live. It works collaboratively with subcontractors and suppliers to ensure job site safety, productivity, and cost-effectiveness. Andy Christensen applies his supervision, project management, estimating, and customer service experience in leading the company. He builds on Heritage Construction’s commercial and custom residential general contracting and construction abilities.
Heritage Construction’s portfolio consists of industrial, medical, retail, and residential facilities, as well as tenant improvement build-outs and restaurants. An excellent example is the Lone Oak Bar and Grill. The diner uniquely blends the feel of a lounge and gastropub-style restaurant. Plenty of space and seating is provided with access to a patio and Oak Room.