New Stadium Village restaurant to offer green options

SIMPLS will open in Stadium Village on Feb. 11.

A Pad Thai meal is displayed in one of Simpls downtown locations. The new location will open at 712 Washington Ave SE.

Courtesy of Ryan Rosenthal

A Pad Thai meal is displayed in one of Simpls’ downtown locations. The new location will open at 712 Washington Ave SE.

by Miguel Octavio

A fast-casual restaurant with an environmental cause is slated to open in Stadium Village next month.  

Co-founded by University of Minnesota alumni Ryan Rosenthal and Michael von Fange, SIMPLS will offer a variety of hot meals and soups along with pre-made salads and sandwiches. The local chain will be located at 712 Washington Ave SE. 

Rosenthal said the campus area has a void of healthy food options, which prompted them to open a location in Stadium Village. 

“Imagine it as a quirky, independent child of 7/11 and Whole Foods,” Rosenthal said. 

The Stadium Village restaurant’s grand opening on Feb. 11 will mark the chain’s third location. Its previous locations opened in 2014 and 2016 in downtown Minneapolis. 

The eatery is aimed at providing meals to customers on the go without losing nutritional value, Rosenthal said. The 1,500-square-foot space will also provide seating for 30 customers, unlike its downtown counterparts. The Stadium Village spot is also expected to offer a more extensive menu than the downtown locations.

Crisp & Green in Dinkytown, another store offering salads and other grab-and-go foods to open in the area, opened last month. Sprout and Freshii, both near campus, offer similar menu items. 

Rosenthal said SIMPLS has a mission to promote ethically sourced products. SIMPLS also donates 1 percent of its sales to environmental organizations as a member of 1% For The Planet.

“We have a heavy emphasis on responsible sourcing, so doing not just local sourcing but trying to use organics when possible,” Rosenthal said. “If not organics, finding small vendors that we know are trying to farm as responsibly as possible and minimizing their impact.”

Alcoholic beverages like local craft beers and organic wines will be exclusive to the Stadium Village location. Non-alcoholic options include organic, fair-trade coffee and an espresso bar.

Prospect Park resident Julie Wallace said she appreciates the company’s emphasis on sustainability. 

“It seems like a worthy endeavor,” Wallace said. “There’s a reasonable variety, this seems like a good addition.”

Hannah Brickson, a third-year student studying child psychology at the University, said restaurants with healthy options and local produce are lacking near campus. 

“I’m from way up north,” Brickson said. “I definitely feel like the more we can utilize the farmers in the area, I think [it would be] a great option for them.”