Profile Center rebrands restaurant

Pangea now boasts expanded international cuisine choices.

Casablanca restaurant inside the profile center recently changed their name and logo to Pangea.

Image by Jules Ameel

Casablanca restaurant inside the profile center recently changed their name and logo to Pangea.

by Katherine Lymn

Prospect Park’s Profile Event Center has rebranded its adjoining restaurant into a more international establishment.

Previously called Casablanca, the restaurant is now Pangea, named after the supercontinent Pangaea that has over millions of years spread into today’s seven continents. Previously, Casablanca served mostly East-African food.

“If there was a restaurant200 million years ago, this would be the one,” joked Profile Center owner Patrick Kellis.

Existing cuisine choices have been broadened, and new international tastes have been added.

“It was always kind of an international restaurant,” co-manager Arijit Das said. But with the addition of Indian and Mediterranean cuisine and the expansion of the existing Italian, East-African and Greek styles, the restaurant now truly resembles its name.

On average, prices have increased since the change due to higher food quality, Kellis said.

The restaurant assumed its new name and style in June, but Das said the process of getting there took months.

“We wanted to do it the right way,” he said. Since last year, when Das and his brother took up management at the restaurant in September, the process of rebranding has been gradual.

Hired in February, new head chef Cruz Acevedo, who is half Mexican and half Hawaiian, brings his own heritage to the international cuisine, Das said.

With TCF Bank Stadium just blocks away and the general development happening in the area, Das said he and the rest of the management team wanted to focus more on the student body.

“It’s really nice to have,” said Sam Wiebe, who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2008 and now lives next to Pangea in the U Flats. “We don’t really have too many unique restaurants over there.”

Wiebe, a full-time graphic designer, also helped with the rebranding by tweaking an original logo and working with Das and Kellis on the interior and exterior design.

Another new aspect of the rebranding is a new opportunity for local artists, including University students. Without being charged any sort of commission, artists can advertise their work on the walls of the restaurant, Das said.