Southern Comfort

Enjoy some down-home cooking right in your own neighborhood

Authentic Southern food, with its barbeque meats, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese, is a mouth-watering cuisine that evokes comfort and happiness. But, depending on where you live in the country, it can be hard to find.

In 2015, Nick Rancone and Chef Thomas Boemer, co-owners of the hospitality group Twist Davis, opened Revival Restaurants in order to bring this down-home cooking to Minnesota.

“Before we started the restaurants there was nothing like it in the market, so we would make it [Southern food] for us as a family meal when we were operating our fine-dining restaurant,” says Nick. “We always talked about expanding and doing different concepts with that and Revival became one of those concepts and really caught on.”

No strangers to the food industry, the two already had a couple of successful restaurants under their belts. Award-winning Chef Thomas has worked with some of the best chef’s in the world, but along with his fine dining background, he grew up in Lexington, North Carolina, where his passion for Southern food took root. Many of the recipes used at Revival were brought with him from his childhood.

Beyond the food items mentioned above, Revival Restaurants also offer delicious entrees such as chicken and waffles with honey butter and maple syrup, and shrimp and grits with mushrooms and bacon. Sides include white cheddar grits, collard greens and hush puppies. Yum!

Of course, all of the ingredients used in the authentic recipes are of the highest quality. “We try to use clean ingredients and source as seasonally and locally as possible,” says Nick. “Much of it comes from local farms.”

He describes the general atmosphere of the restaurants as stylized casual - places where the community can gather together and enjoy a great meal. These are dining destinations where you can come as you are and instead of a jacket and tie, you just need to bring a hearty appetite. Unsurprisingly, the majority of their customers are repeat diners.  

With the success of Revival Restaurants in Minneapolis (the first original location) and in St. Paul, demand for its cuisine grew, especially the fried chicken and smoked meats. So, Nick and Chef Thomas decided to expand their locations. Now, even more Minnesotans have an opportunity to indulge their Southern-style cravings.

Revival Smoked Meats can now be found on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, and Revival St. Louis Park, its first suburban location, is on Minnetonka Avenue and serves up its classic fried chicken and sides.

“What makes the chicken so special is our process and our focus,” says Nick. “It’s really crispy and crunchy and holds its crunch very well. It’s not soggy or greasy.

“With the smoked meats, it’s a traditional kind of Carolina barbecue with pork and beef. We have brisket, spare ribs, beef ribs and more.” All the meat is prepared on wood-burning smokers and is infused with a rich and smoky essence.

In addition to its dine in and take out options, Revival has online ordering and delivery available with a customized app through ChowNow. The St. Paul location also offers catering, which customers can pick up and bring to a small dinner party or to a large 100-plus person event. Plans are also in the works to have a food truck available by the end of the year.

So, the next time you’re in the mood for some traditional down-home Southern food, Revival Restaurants are ready to serve. To find out what other delicious items they have on the menu, go to You too will become one of those repeat customers.   

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