Minneapolis, Minnesota

Monello & Constantine


The Hotel Ivy in Minneapolis recently underwent an $8 million renovation, and ESG worked with Wischermann Partners (managers of the Starwood Hotel & Resorts Luxury Collection property) and Jester Concepts (the restaurant development team) on a new restaurant, Monello, and its lower-level counterpart, Constantine. As part of the hotel’s expansive renovation, the challenge was to revamp some underperforming food and beverage concepts in the historic building. The renovation of the former restaurant space gave Monello its own entrance, boosting its visibility on the street. Much of the interior design was inspired by Monello’s focus on coastal Italian fare reflecting the culinary traditions of the southwest Campania region. Fresh paint and Old World Italian touches, including a zinc bar, custom floor tiles and brass lighting fixtures were added to brighten and freshen the formerly dark space.

The redesign also brought the opportunity to develop a second concept in what used to be an awkward basement-level dining area. By eliminating an open stairway between the spaces, the designers were able to give Monello a cozier upscale feel, while offering a different, more casual “speakeasy” vibe, at Constantine, below. With more of a crafted cocktail focus, lower-level Constantine is all about customer experience, with fun and whimsical design elements and an adjacent “whiskey room” available for small private events.

Since its opening in June 2015, both the food and design have received rave reviews, including a nomination for the 2015 Eater.com Awards in the category, “Minneapolis and St. Paul’s Most Stunning Restaurant.”