Minneapolis’ newest restaurant is also the state’s greenest: The Red Stag, located at 508 First Ave. NE, has applied for LEED certification and in the next few months its owners expect to be awarded ‘gold’ status from the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED, short for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” is a voluntary certification for builders who want to promote green values. A project qualifies by earning points in categories like water savings, energy-efficiency and materials selection.
Owner Kim Bartmann, who also runs Bryant Lake Bowl and Café Barbette, has invested in new technologies to help conserve water and electricity, but much of the restaurant’s eco-value came from low-tech reuse and recycling.
The restaurant was constructed in an existing building, a former sheet-metal shop in northeast Minneapolis. Many of the materials used inside were salvaged on their way to a landfill. The long marble bar, for example, came from the City Center Marriott Hotel, which was getting rid of it.
Workers turned a stack of solid wood doors from the nearby Cobalt condominium project into tabletops for the restaurant. The condo builder had decided they weren’t a good fit and was ready to throw them out. Tile, sinks, a refrigerator and some lumber were also salvaged for free for the project.
The new wood products the builders needed to acquire were certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, a nonprofit that ensures responsible forest management. Seventy-five percent of the construction waste was recycled, and the restaurant will also compost its food waste through a program with Eureka! Recycling and Hennepin County.
The Red Stag is the first facility in the country lit entirely by LED, or light-emitting diodes. The lights use between 75 and 80 percent less electricity than ordinary incandescent bulbs. And 50 percent of the electricity the restaurant does use will come from wind energy as part of Xcel Energy’s Windsource program.
A few office and residential projects in Minnesota have sought the LEED stamp of approval but The Red Stag is the first restaurant. It is open for dinner Friday, and open regular hours seven days a week starting Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends. For more info visit www.redstagsupperclub.com or call 612-767-7766.