Clancey’s Meats to Open Next Week in Former Grand Cafe Space

Today was the last day for Clancey’s Meat & Fish in Linden Hills. The neighborhood came out big for a last sandwich at this butcher shop and deli that has been a pioneering local staple since 2003. And here’s the great news: The shop lives on to sandwich another day!!

Kristin Tombers is picking up and moving to the former Grand Cafe space on 38th & Grand Ave., “We’re in pretty good shape for being here for 19 years. We’re cleaning and clearing the equipment, we’ve got checklists, and we’re ready to go.” Original Grand Cafe owners Dan and Mary Hunter still owned the space that lastly held Jamie Malone’s version of the French cafe. The space is now owned by Tombers “and the SBA”, and it has been truly transformed in a way that will hopefully serve Clancey’s and the city for another 19 years. The giant French oven is gone, but maybe it’s time to let go. 

If you’ve had the pleasure of popping in to the Linden Hills location, you’ll know that they packed a lot into that square footage. You may have had to jostle a bit with your neighbors while waiting for your legendary beef sandwich or an order of Hidden Stream Farms pork chops. It makes sense, then, that what Tombers is most excited for in the new space, is space. “It just feels so good over there, the light is amazing, the acoustics are so nice and we’re not even in there yet.” 

Tombers and her team have been looking for new space for more than a decade. In 2010 they had a deal on another space fall through at the last minute, and that set them back to square one. They were forced to invest in the original space to keep things moving, but none of the improvements were rooted in customer interaction, “Honestly the fact that we have room for customers to not feel so cramped and claustrophobic in the new space is what I’m most excited for.” That people have stayed loyal and come back again and again is testament to what Clancey’s has built: a great food shop with an ardent local eye that’s a stickler for quality. 

Beyond space, everyone is excited for the eventual developments of new menus and new products. The plan is to add in breakfast sandwiches with morning coffee, more plant-based items, more easy grab-n-go, plus an eventual dinner menu with hot entrees, soups, stews, with beer and wine options. “We’ll have a daily posted menu, and like a food truck it might change every day. Though, we’ll definitely have some staples like our lamb stew. But how great will it be, when someone sits down to our meatloaf to finally get to see them enjoying it! We never get to see them eating it when they’ve just grabbed it for home, so now we’ll get to be there for the smiles.”

But don’t expect it all to fall perfectly into place next week, because Tombers doesn’t, “Someone gave me great advice, to do what we’ve already been doing first, then add on. It’s nice to not be under pressure to get it all done immediately, moving 19 years worth of stuff is hard enough.” The plan is to get everything in the space, get it up and running like normal before adding in dinner and eventually beer and wine. “Then there’s a lot we can do going forward, that we’ve never done before. We can have conversations, we can have gatherings! We might even bring back Dan and Mary’s cribbage night. This has become such a cool little corner of the city.”

Look for the new space to officially open on November 1st, but Tombers admits she might just throw the doors open sooner if she’s feeling it, “Just like in 2003, we said if you can take us at half-way, we’ll take you!”

October 25, 2022

4:05 PM

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