Ricky Spillner says he’s not a biblical character, but hopes soon to be going to the Lion’s Den.
“I’m not Daniel, but hopefully they’ll let me in anyway,” Spillner, 41, of Carver, recently said with a grin, while visiting downtown Victoria.
Lion’s Den is a new restaurant/bar venture by Marc Huebner, owner of The Noble Lion, a nearby restaurant recognized for its European-style fare.
Lion’s Den, 7924 Victoria Dr., across a walkway from The Noble Lion, is expected to open in February (check www.thenoblelion.com for updates).
The new facility will have seating for about 35 and is “going to have the same feel as The Noble Lion,” Huebner said. “But, it is going to be a bit more masculine; a little darker and a bit more cocktail-centric than The Noble Lion.”
The new facility will not have a full kitchen, but will offer smaller dishes. The plan is not to have any food items over $15, Huebner said.
“There won’t be any burgers or steaks since we won’t have a grill,” he said. “It’s all going to be more smaller plates.”
Huebner indicated the menu will likely include seasonal offerings, such as chili and beef stew in colder months and open-faced sandwiches and other items during warmer weather, with the popular Gouda cheese curds available all year.
“There are so many people excited for this to open,” he said. “They want other options.”
The Lion’s Den development rose from the large number of customers at The Noble Lion.
“I’ve had problems the past couple of years, particularly on weekends in the winter, of not having anywhere to put people who are waiting for a table at The Noble Lion,” Huebner said, adding that at times he encouraged those waiting to visit neighboring establishments during the waiting period.
The new facility, estimated at about 850 square feet, will allow customers to either eat at Lion’s Den, or have a drink there while waiting for a table at The Noble Lion, Huebner said.
“Because of the waits, I have been losing some customers to other places that have a dining alternative, so, hopefully, this will alleviate some of that,” he said. “With the new place, I’ll be able to get guests seated quicker.”
He emphasized that Lion’s Den is “more than simply an overflow bar. The food will be different than what we offer at The Noble Lion; and there’ll be a couple of TVs in there, which I don’t have in The Noble Lion.”
He said the televisions will offer sports enthusiasts a place to visit during Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves and Twins games.
Huebner expects renovations at the rented property to be completed by the end of January. When it is open, customers will have only a few steps between The Noble Lion and Lion’s Den. In between, especially during summer months, cafe-style outdoor furniture will adorn the area between the establishments.
“I’ve had my eye on this (rental) space for a long time and just decided that this was the time to do it,” Huebner said. “I think people will really enjoy it.”