Updated: November 23
The Freight House in Stillwater, known for its massive patio, is among the restaurants under new management.
Morrissey Hospitality, the manager of the St. Paul Hotel and its restaurant, recently took over operations of several prominent Twin Cities restaurants, including Stillwater landmark The Freight House and both New Bohemia Wurst and Bier House locations.
Since the beginning of this year, the St. Paul-based hospitality-management company has added five new restaurant clients and opened a restaurant of its own.
Morrissey Hospitality’s new clients are Admiral D’s Waterfront Tavern in White Bear Lake and Seventh Street Truck Park in St. Paul, in addition to The Freight House and New Bohemia in St. Paul and Golden Valley. All five will retain their existing ownership and receive the company’s suite of management services, including on-site management of daily operations, strategic planning and management of marketing plans, bookkeeping, menu development and procurement, recruiting and onboarding support and improvements to technology.
Morrissey Hospitality’s new restaurant, Momento, opened in March in part of the former Pazzaluna space in downtown St. Paul. It’s the only business in its portfolio that the company has 100% ownership of.
Since 2019, Morrissey Hospitality has tripled the size of its portfolio and expanded its footprint across a wider swath of the Twin Cities, under the leadership of Co-owner Elizabeth Morrissey Brown and President Richard Dobransky. It now includes 12 restaurants, three hotels and four venues. Among the other restaurants in its portfolio are The St. Paul Grill and Tattersall Distilling Co. in River Falls, Wis.
Morrissey Hospitality was founded by Bill Morrissey in 1995. His daughter, Elizabeth Morrissey Brown, and two sons inherited the company following his death in 2016, when it operated six restaurants, managed four hotels and ran catering for four venues. She currently serves as the company’s vice president of business development and marketing.
Morrissey Hospitality has seen increasing interest in its services since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has wrecked havoc on the hospitality industry. Because of all the recent hurdles, some owner-operators are experiencing burnout and want help with the day-to-day operations of their business. Lately, the top three priorities that potential clients are looking to address are labor, cost of goods and marketing, according to Morrissey Brown.
“That’s the beauty of Morrissey Hospitality’s business model, especially for owner-operators that are looking to maybe take a different step or a different role within the active day-to-day business,” she said.
Moving forward, Morrissey Hospitality plans to focus on adding hotels and venues to its portfolio and expanding beyond the Twin Cities.
“We’re very bullish, obviously, on our own backyard,” Morrissey Brown said. “However, there’s so much opportunity within the hospitality industry in Minnesota, western Wisconsin, central and northern Iowa, even some of the Dakotas, and we have our eyes set on some of those markets in the next three to five years.”
The company plans to announce a new hotel client, located in the St. Croix River Valley, later this month, and sometime after that, a quick-service market and bakery concept for another portion of the downtown St. Paul building where Italian restaurant Pazzaluna closed in May 2020 after two decades.