MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A “one of a kind” restaurant in downtown Minneapolis is about to get even more unique.

In four days, Hell’s Kitchen will open up a room built by Minnesotans for Minnesotans. So fittingly, it will be called the “Minnesota Room.”

There are reasons it’s called Hell’s Kitchen to begin with. The restaurant was built underground and it’s most popular burger is the “Juicy Lucifer.”

“We wanted a tiny, little pocket restaurant that we could do breakfast and lunch and then go home and save our lives and marriages. It didn’t turn out that way,” said co-owner Cynthia Gerdes.

Gerdes has watched her restaurant expand.  Over time, she noticed that “Hell’s” had become a popular destination for out-of-towners.

Last year, they served about 340,000 people.

“We kept hearing – ‘You’re on our list, you’re on our list.’ And that’s when we thought wait a minute, when we redo this room after being here six years, let’s call it the Minnesota Room and let’s do something they don’t expect,” said Gerdes.

So toss out a room filled with canoes and boots hanging from the wall and envision a lot of “Minnesota-isms.”

It’ll be four days before the finished product is unveiled, and customers can’t wait.

“That’s going to be pretty sweet, definitely. It looks pretty awesome,” customer Darrin Sellers said.

The fireplace will contain rocks sent from people across the state.

“There’s a whole lot of gems and fossils and even bones and teeth from animals that are embedded in the fireplace,” Gerdes said.

Decorations will also include random pictures sent from Minnesotans along with Scandinavian sayings. Placemats will include bits of Minnesota trivia.

“Teddy Roosevelt gave his ‘talk softly and carry a big stick’ speech at the 1901 State Fair,” Gerdes said while reading off of a placemat.

But the centerpiece will be something to celebrate Minnesota’s Native American heritage. A chrome bison head will be placed above the fireplace.

“This has been chromed, literally chromed. This is one of the bisons we serve here at the restaurant,” Gerdes said.

Gerdes said the most laborious thing of all is that they plan on etching the names of all 804 Minnesota cities and townships on the booths inside this room. The total cost of the entire remodel is about $325,000.

The Minnesota Room opens Friday.

John Lauritsen

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