Casual Mexican concept Centro to open in St. Paul’s Highland Park

We knew that Centro, the much-loved Northeast Minneapolis counter-service bar and restaurant known for its casual Mexican fare was coming to St. Paul. Now we know where!

The restaurant will take over the Highland Park storefronts that were formerly occupied by Waxing in the City, Menchie’s, and Great Clips on Cleveland Avenue.

“That Menchie’s spot always caught my eye, and right after I moved here it became vacant,” said owner Jami Olson, who has lived in St. Paul for 17 years and moved a few blocks away from the new space recently. “It took us a little while to get our ducks in a row, but we’re ready now.”

And because the 6,000-square-foot space was too big for just a Centro, Olson said she’s adding a burger concept as well. Olson said she’s not yet ready to reveal the name for the burger outfit, but it will share space with Centro. Both will be fast-casual, and you’ll be able to order from either concept from your phone. There will be a full-service bar that serves both concepts as well.

The brand is rapidly expanding — another new location, which will also contain the burger concept, will open later this summer on Eat Street in Minneapolis. That location is already serving as a commissary kitchen for the brand, and in-house delivery is carried out from it. Olson previously said her goal is to open five stores in the next five years.

The team is shooting for opening the Highland Park location in early spring 2023. They’d love to do it earlier, but supply chain issues are keeping them from properly outfitting the kitchen before then.

“I’m excited about everything that’s happening in this neighborhood — the Ford plant development, it’s really cool,” Olson said.

Centro: 750 S. Cleveland Ave.; centrompls.com

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