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  • Jul 17, 2013








MINNEAPOLIS—The American Swedish Institute (ASI) announced today it is moving toward an exciting new partnership with Culinaire International.   Under the proposed agreement, Culinaire, which oversees The Guthrie’s critically acclaimed restaurant Sea Change, will assume management of ASI’s café, FIKA (fee-kuh) and growing event rental operations in  August  2013.  The move allows ASI to best meet the growing demands of its expanded facilities and campus. Since its opening in June 2012, ASI’s new Nelson Cultural Center has sparked a resurgence of interest in ASI making it one of the most sought after dining destinations and special event locations in Minnesota.

“When ASI set out to create our new café, we wanted to create a special and unique culinary compliment to the Museum as food is such a natural and welcoming entry point to sharing cultural experiences. With the vision of Chad Snelson and founding chef Michael Fitzgerald, FIKA has exceeded expectations in its first year and it’s incredible popularity leads us to this next step.  ASI visitors will find the same delicious new-Nordic inspired cuisine they’ve come to enjoy at FIKA,” said Bruce Karstadt, ASI’s President and CEO.

Originally conceived as a counter service café for 30-40 patrons per day (a la popular café eateries across Sweden), FIKA has expanded to more than 100 seats and table service for lunch for more than 300 visitors daily.  

Culinaire will manage the expanded number of events and special occasions celebrated at the American Swedish Institute. In the past year alone, ASI has hosted more than 100 special events including weddings,  a custom dinner for Their Majesties The King and Queen of Sweden and the launch of the popular Cocktails at the Castle series. With the expanded capacity created through the new partnership, ASI hopes to offer in house catering services at these exciting events.

Praise for FIKA, the café at the American Swedish Institute

“Best Lunch in Minnesota” –Star Tribune, 2013

“A restaurant can complement a museum’s vision while bringing in fresh faces — as the American Swedish Institute learned with its sizzling new cafe.” – Star Tribune

"More than a museum cafe, this bright spot is a serious attempt to integrate local ingredients in dishes that are faithful to the tradition of “fika,” an institution in Sweden." -New York Times

“One of the Hottest Travel Destinations for 2013” –Travel + Leisure Magazine

ABOUT FIKA at the American Swedish Institute

FIKA is the American Swedish Institute's Nordic-inspired café inside the Nelson Cultural Center. With the historic Turnblad Mansion in full view, guests dining at FIKA can choose from a seasonally-inspired menu dedicated to regional ingredients and Nordic traditions. From espresso and house made pastries to artful salads and open-face sandwiches, FIKA features traditional Swedish delicacies alongside modern interpretations of the New Nordic Cuisine. 2600 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407. Hours: Tu, Th-Sat., 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.  Wed, 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun., noon-5p.m. Closed Mondays.  Additional information and full menu available at: .


About Culinaire

Culinarie is a Dallas-based, privately held food and beverage corporation and food service provider. It provides high-quality food and beverage service to a diverse collection of accounts including Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater as well as the  New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. It operates Café 43, Courtyard Café and all catering and special events at the George W. Bush Museum & Library. The organization services other North Texas  locations such as the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, the Music Hall at Fair Park, UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Fort Worth Zoo, as well as provides dining services in 25 hotels and conference centers nationwide. Additional information can be found at


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