2859 Johnson St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
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When our family started serving comfort food, it was just called ‘food.’
Our family’s 50 year-old restaurant legacy started on a small farm in Long Prairie, Minnesota in the 1960’s. The land produced more rocks than crops and our grandmother Helen ‘Hazel’ Sieve found herself looking for ways to literally put food on the table for her young family.
A talented baker and cook, Helen took a job at a local diner where she made pies for 60 cents a piece. The town took notice and demanded the genius behind these amazing pies open a place of her own. With some luck, hard work-—and a lot of Hail Marys—Helen and her husband Ben opened the Grille Cafe a few years later.
Running a café, tending to the farm, and raising five young children left Helen little time to pamper herself. On evenings when a hard days work left grandma looking a little less than the stunning woman she was, she’d often exclaim, “I look just like Hazel Mulder!” None of the family knew who Hazel Mulder was, but over time those days were affectionately described as the “Hazel Years” as a way to honor, remember and celebrate the work ethic, talent, and dedication that spawned three generations of restaurateurs.
Our grandparents eventually moved to Alexandria, MN where they took over the Traveler’s Inn restaurant and sold it to their sons a few years later. Our dad Kurt and his brother Jon ran “Travs” for 41 years together. As teenagers we learned how to cook and take care of guests from our dad and uncle. And on most sunny, summer mornings our grandmother slipped in after attending mass to ensure the bacon was crispy, the eggs weren’t too runny, and our aprons were tied tight. We’re happy to share our love of food and hospitality with you on the corner of Johnson St. and 29th in Audubon Park at Hazel’s Northeast.
Chef Ali Koroglu has led our kitchen team since the first days of Hazel’s. Classically trained with over two decades experience, Chef fuses our take on classic comfort food with regional and world flavors. His food is inventive, approachable, and always changing. Chef Ali is approachable and loves to talk about what’s cooking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Find the chef on twitter @chefboyali