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A Head Over Heels Blog Series by Josey Stafford

Hello friends! I am like really hungry right now. I probably should eat something, but instead I am going to type out this blog post… about catering… until I pass out from hunger pains. Do you see how much I care about you? Of course I’m only hungry because I just finished chatting with Ken Cole about Atlas Grill Catering. And I guess I could share what he had to say with you.

Minneapolis wedding caterer - off premise, on site

How did Atlas Grill start catering, outside of the restaurant?

We’ve been open for 20 years and always had events, at the restaurant. Occasionally we’d get requests from loyal customers or friends and family to do an off premise event, and of course we’d do it. But once we got approached by Minneapolis City Hall to participate as a preferred caterer, it really opened up. Next was Semple Mansion and we’re at Muse, Three Rivers Parks, and the new Machine Shop. Now it’s almost necessary, as more venues have opened, to have a strong presence as off premise caterers in the Twin Cities.

Downtown Minneapolis Wedding Venue and Caterer

And how does that differ, catering for an event off site versus the menu in the restaurant?

It means we can have a little more variety, bending our menu to what the client wants, but something to really remember is that not all venues have a kitchen. This can be really limiting sometimes, like if a client wants french fries – well, if there isn’t a deep fryer… Of course this really means we get to be more creative in how we put together a meal. Clients tend to really love our goat cheese bruschetta that gets flashed in the the oven, basically a fancy cheese bread.

Wedding family style catering

What is typically on the menu? What do brides and grooms tend to lean towards?

Atlas Grill is known for our signature fire meats and seafood station, it’s unique but not weird. Think Persian style catering but Americanized with sauces. We can do just about anything, and buffet tends to be the most popular. Not because it’s cheaper, it really isn’t, but logistically it tends to work best at venues, especially for larger groups. 

Minneapolis wedding table number

See that’s interesting, because from a planner’s perspective I really like plated or family style, I hate being the one to dismiss that last table, those people are generally really hungry and really kind of irked that they had to go last. What are some tips you have for brides and grooms, to make the day go smoother as far as hunger goes?

Keep it simple. Not bland or boring, but the more moving parts you add the more stress can increase and the more things that could go wrong. And of course, at minimum you should have a day of coordinator. Someone to be the go between. There have been way to many events where the happy couple think, ‘Oh we can do everything’, but you notice they aren’t enjoying their big day.

SIT DOWN. At every wedding the food is going to be served to the wedding party first, that means you newlyweds, and then your guests. Do a quick welcome and then eat! You can start toasts once the ball is rolling on dinner service. Think about your guests, who are waiting to eat, and think about how the rest of the night is going to go. 

hydrangea wedding table centerpiece


Get creative with dessert. I think couples are really enjoying ice cream sundae stations, mini desserts, and cheesecake stations. It doesn’t always have to be cake.

I love that advice. I think having help the day of is vital, duh, but I also think that being conscious of how long guests go between arriving and eating is important, because alcohol is usually being consumed in the absence of eating.

We provide that too! We can either cater or do both catering and liquor service, depending on the venue. Muse and Machine Shop have their own bar, which is fine and then City Hall and Three Rivers Parks require that you hire a Minneapolis/St. Paul wedding caterer for liquor service, so that’s an added bonus of hiring us. We can charge per person or based on consumption, which is easier if you order kegs. It just depends on what type of drinkers you have at your wedding, and we can help you figure all of that out.

wedding salad

Off premise catering is great, but what about your restaurant in US Bank Plaza, what are events like there?

Since we are only open Monday thru Friday, weekends are completely devoted to private parties. That means we really cater (ha!) to you and your guests. The dining room can seat about 140, and then we use the atrium for dancing. We provide all the linen and china, serving ware, glassware etc. Just as we do for off premise events, and I think it’s nice to have that included.

I agree, I think sometimes engaged couples feel as though they are being nickel-and-dimed. Another bonus when hiring Atlas Catering? They feed the staff. Really that’s a bonus for me and the other vendors at your wedding, but a pro none the less!

red, yellow and white floral centerpiece in a green vase | Atlas Grill Catering

If you’d like more information about Atlas Grill Catering your future event you can find Ken Cole and his staff on their Website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Next week on Getting Married in Minnesota, Meet Courtyard Minneapolis.

Do you have a question about catering for your event? What about how to determine which style of dinner service is best for your group size? If you have any questions at all leave them below! If you know of someone looking for a Minneapolis/St. Paul wedding caterer with a liquor license… tell them about Atlas Grill![clickToTweet tweet=” I’m hungry because I just read about Atlas Grill on Head Over Heels… you’ll want to read about them too!” quote=”Introduce your friends to Atlas Grill” theme=”style6″]

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,

Sixpence Events & Planning