James Beard Finalist Jorge Guzman Unveils New Restaurant

Chef/Owner Jorge Guzman announced his new restaurant, Petite León (3800 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, MN). Petite León is a neighborhood restaurant that reimagines the classic café as a sexy, dimly lit den of classic cocktails; approachable, delicious food, and adventurous creativity. Guzmán pulls from his 23 years of culinary experience to create a menu that harmoniously incorporates elements of global cuisines, including Mexican, Spanish, French, and American.

The bar program is overseen by Co-Owner/Bar Man Travis Serbus, most recently of Meteor Bar. Petite León is the first concept from Duck Soup Hospitality, a restaurant group created by Guzman and Benjamin Rients, in partnership with Serbus and Dan Manosack. The restaurant’s name pays homage to Guzman’s young son, who’s astrological sign is Leo; Rients is also expecting a son this summer, who will be named Leo. 

“When my partners and I envisioned Petite León, we sought to create a restaurant that we would all want to eat at,” says Guzman. “At its heart, we want Petite León to be an unpretentious, neighborhood restaurant. South Minneapolis is a growing, thriving community which combines small town comforts with big city concepts and ideas. We want to weave ourselves into the fabric of the community and give its residents a place that brings people together for delicious, carefully crafted meals.”

Originally from Mexico, Guzman spent his formative years in St. Louis before receiving his undergrad degree from Drake University. After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, Guzman moved to Minneapolis where he rose the ranks of the hospitality community, eventually being named executive chef of Surly Brewing. His restaurant Brewers Table was lauded by critics and locals alike, earning a “Best New Restaurant” accolade from Food & Wine. Guzman was named a James Beard Foundation Award “Best Chef Midwest” semi-finalist in 2016, and finalist in 2017.

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