The design and historic nature of the building offer a specific atmosphere of simple elegance.
Lori Fhima of Masion Margaux
A little bit of Paris has come to Minneapolis via Maison Margaux, the newest endeavor by Twin Cities restaurateur David Fhima.
The combination restaurant – event center – speakeasy “has been a dream of Chef Fhima’s for a very long time,” says Lori Fhima, David Fhima’s wife and business partner. “The Moulin Rouge/La Belle Epoque theme has been reeling around in each new space we have opened for the past 12 years, and we finally found a pearl (margaux, in French) in the North Loop that was the perfect place to implement the concept.”
That “pearl” is the 140-year-old building that housed the Twin Cities’ last remaining furrier, Ribnick Luxury Outerwear, bought in 1945 by Isaac Ribnick. The business remained until his grandson, Bill, retired in 2021.
“Our ambiance is unique,” Lori Fhima says. “We have various event spaces and can accommodate many styles of soirees, from weddings to rehearsal dinners and birthdays to business meetings."
Because of the building’s age and historical significance, there were strict guidelines to follow during the extensive renovation. Firm Ground Architecture and Greiner Construction worked closely with David Fhima and the Historic Preservation Commission. Fhima was involved every step of the way, choosing every tile, every wallpaper, and every chair to satisfy his vision.
Maison Margaux has various rooms available with capacity for 40 to 100 people, with the option to buy out the entire restaurant for a larger crowd. Forty-five parking spots are available, and valet service will be on hand.
Because it’s first and foremost a bistro and bar, outside food and vendors are not permitted but a menu offering typical French brasserie fare—with a hint of Mediterranean—seems certain to satisfy almost any palate.
Eager to be an integral addition to the North Loop dining scene, the Fhimas are committed to the community and hope to be staffed largely by BIPOC employees. They also aim for a festive and welcoming atmosphere. “When you come to Maison Margaux,” Lori Fhima says, “it is meant to feel as if you walked into a friend’s dining room, from the ambiance to the dining experience.”