I had lunch today at the new Minnetonka location. Got there at 11:30 AM. Had to sit at the bar. Place was packed. By 11:45 there was no parking left and people we waiting. This site looked more like a lodge then a Daves. Canoes and Fishing Gear on the walls. Not much in the ceiling. Someone sits you. Someone else takes your order from the table. Same prices as other Daves but more labor costs. Food was fabulous. Overheard several people talk about how they liked the place. Good location on HWY 7 just west of 494. Waiter said there is as much as a two hour wait for evenings. I believe this location opened in early Dec..
I too visited the Minnetonka Dave's this past weekend and got there at 6:00pm and the 4 of us didn't get a table until almost 7:30. Food was fantastic, we got the All American platter for $45.95 to split it contained a whole rack of ribs, whole roasted/bbq chicken, 1/2 lb. of beef brisket, 4 small ears of corn, 4 corn muffins, fries, slaw, and beans. We could not finish it all! Service was very quick.
People still waiting to be seated at 9:15 when we left.
Waiter said they are getting a full liquor license in February and plans are already in the works to expand.
I've never been to the Uptown Blues joint but my understanding is that it to has a 1-2 hour wait for dinner.
Dave's seems like a great opportunity, except for two things that are holding me back. 1) I was at the LaCrosse store over Christmas, and the prices seem a little high for the area. If they think they can charge Twin Cities prices outside of the cities, they are going to get their clock cleaned. 2). What's this Chicago Blues Club foolishness? It sounds like an company funded ego trip for Dave to me, and if the board and or management can't stop him from adventures like this that are totally unrelated to the business, there is trouble ahead. The people who would go to, or even know about a Chicago blues club are a TOTALLY different market from the market Dave's is after. Let me know what you think.
From my experience Daves Blues Club in Minneapolis is quite sucessful. Both of our visits entailed multi hour waits for seating. The Club in Minneapolis is located in a shopping mall (Calhoun Square) in the Uptown Neighborhood. Perhaps one of our TC observers can provide further information on the volume of business they do.
I suspect the grand strategy is to have a "blues club" in each major metro area for high name recognition, with a number of "rib joints" in the suburbs. The joints have just food, no entertainment. Might consider the "blues club" the flagship for the market.