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Craft Kitchen and Bar opens July 1

The former Woodbury Sunsets is a bit more crafty now.

The neighborhood restaurant has gone through a major renovation and will reopen under the name Craft Kitchen and Bar Tuesday, July 1.

Sunsets, which had been operating in Woodbury since 1997, closed in April after former owners sold to Steve Wagenheim and Dean Vlahos.

Wagenheim and Vlahos have been in the restaurant business since the 1980s as founders of Champps Americana, Granite City Food and Brewery and Redstone American Grill.

“They have a long track record of success,” said Steve Olson, Craft Kitchen and Bar general manager.

The duo formed a partnership to open the new Woodbury restaurant, which is located at Radio Drive across from Tamarack Village, and came up with a completely new concept.

Craft Kitchen and Bar will seat 90 in the dining room, 160 in the bar area and 70 more on a new patio built as an extension to the bar.

The restaurant is loaded with barn wood on the walls, dark stained concrete floors, an imported rosewood bar, stitched leather booths and a brick gas fireplace to represent the new “craft” concept.

Olson said patrons can expect “quality, hand-crafted food, American classics with a high attention to detail.”

The menu includes appetizers, flat breads, sliders, pastas, steaks, rotisserie chicken and salads.

A craft beer list will also be available with 26 craft beers and an emphasis on Minnesota breweries.

About 140 employees have been hired, or rehired from the former restaurant, and a new executive chef has been prepping for next week’s grand opening.

One of Craft Kitchen and Bar’s new features is the outdoor patio that sits beside bi-fold doors opening up to the indoor bar space.

“This is something we’re really excited about,” Olson said. “Even if this is full and you can’t sit out here, you can sit inside and feel like you’re outside.”

The patio, which is enclosed to the parking lot by barn wood, will be candle-lit and equipped with speakers for an enhanced outdoor bar experience, Olson added.

“At night, it’s just going to be gorgeous,” he said.

Olson said the entire restaurant crew is looking forward to the new concept and expects it be a favorite attraction for Woodbury diners.

“We’re excited,” he said. “We think it’s going to be a huge hit.”

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.