MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In a town where there’s a Juicy Lucy on almost every menu, Red Cow is going all-in on one 7-ounce hand-pattied burger.
Luke Shimp created Red Cow in 2013.
“When you do ’em right, people just love it,” Shimp said.
His wife came up with the name.
“Red wine, cuz we’re all about wine, and beef, and she just spit out the words ‘red cow,’ and I said, ‘That’s it,'” he said. “And I called our graphic designer and said, ‘Start drumming up a logo. It’s called Red Cow.'”
They started in Edina, then opened in St. Paul, and now they’re heading to the ground level of a new North Loop Minneapolis apartment building.
“The landlord called me and said, ‘Hey, I have this great space, we really want you.’ And he starts going like, ‘I really want you.’ And I’m like, ‘Ok, alright, how bad do you want me?'” Shimp said.
It’s good business. Red Cow has 100 units above it, 200 across the street — a built-in hungry customer base.
They serve up 15 different gourmet burgers, including their signature: a 60-40 burger with 60 percent beef, 40 percent ground bacon!
“Then we put candied bacon on top, because 40 percent bacon’s not enough!” Shimp said.
The fries are hand-cut every day from local potatoes.
“We found a farmer in Big Lake called Winguard Farms, and we bought their whole crop this year,” he said.
Shimp asked his executive chef, Travis Langley, to come up with a French onion soup burger.
It’s grass-fed beef, white cheddar and comes with homemade potato chips.
The goal is to be a modern-day “Cheers” — but Sam Malone never made cocktails like Ian Lowther.
Just like its neighborhoods, Red Cow is right between low-brow and high-brow. Call it medium rare.
“People say they open the door, and they say, ‘We don’t know what it is about this place,’ but there’s something and they just feel it, and there’s an energy and an aura,” Shimp said.
With three stores in less than two years, Shimp says he could see Red Cows all over the country.
He’d like to stay in urban areas, but he thinks the concept could move.