At long last, has company in its new building at the intersection of 50th and Bryant. George and the Dragon, a new British-style pub, opened to much neighborhood excitement Monday morning in the storefront between Patina and .
When Patch stopped by for lunch on Monday, the dining room was busy—not crowded, but humming slightly. For most long-anticipated restaurants, the lack of door-busting crowds might have been a deep disappointment, but not for owners Fred and Stacy Navarro.
"We don't want to be so busy the neighborhood can't check it out," Fred Navarro told Patch. "We want to be full, but our neighbors shouldn't have to wait two hours for a table."
(And what tables they are, made from lovingly stained, reclaimed black walnut and redwood from local buildings and storm-toppled trees)
"We don't want to be famous," Navarro said with a slight smile.
Instead of trying to rival celebrated Southwest Minneapolis restaurants, , George and the Dragon aims for "making normal food great, rather than making normal food fancy," he said.
Much of that food incorporates the bar's offerings—the bangers and mash, in particular, are made with three types of beer and one type of whisky—which include a selection of English and local taps
The Navarros first got the idea for their pub from a print of a Wassily Kandinsky painting that hung in their house, and now hangs in the restaurant's foyer.
"It was always a good conversation starter" because visitors had to struggle to make out the abstracted representations of St. George slaying the dragon, Navarro said. "We thought 'that'd be a great name for a pub,' but filed the idea in the back of our head until the right time came."
So far, Lynhurst seems to be giving the pub a positive reception.
"Our daughter Madeline just got back from a semester abroad in England (Oxford), spending more than a little time at the local pubs. She proclaimed that George and the Dragon passes her test," reader Mary Jane Mitchell told Patch in an email. "There were only a couple of cars parked on 50th Street when we were there tonight from about 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., so I’m guessing most of the crowd of people there had walked, which is a really good sign."