Michael Schultz is a Chicagoan with a soft spot for the Twin Cities. His wife is a Plymouth native, his company – Infuse Hospitality – owns Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea in Minneapolis’ North Loop, and his latest restaurant, Noa, is in the soft-opening phase on the street level of the IDS Center.
“Minneapolis is very important to me,” Schultz said. “And Judaism and culture and our people is very important to me. And so a lot of the laws and philosophies that you would see in Torah and studying the different parshot are relevant throughout the culture of my organization.”
Schultz hopes that his restaurants give people a momentary escape – something that after two years of COVID-related restrictions people can really use.
“I quit my job to become an entrepreneur because I wanted to be able to control the culture of organizations and have an impact on people’s lives and create balance,” he said. Schultz’s father passed away on Jan. 18, 2020 – two years from the day Noa opened. His father was a hazzan and heard countless stories from former congregants that he helped. “The objective of all those companies [I’ve started] is not about things; no one’s gonna count my stuff when I’m gone. It’s that I’m obsessed with the legacy that I will leave my children. The legacy is the stories that people share about me.”
Noa has moved into the space that Mission American Kitchen and Bar had occupied for 17 years, and Schultz is excited to be able to put his newest restaurant in an “iconic” building lke IDS. And running properties in 37 states and Canada, Schultz believes that Minneapolis is poised for a bounce-back.
“I can do it anywhere I want. I believe in Minneapolis, I think it’s a wonderful place, I think it’s an incredible place to raise a family,” he said.”We’re gonna do our part and I’d like to continue investing in Minneapolis. There are other things that that we have our eye on that that I would like to do.”
He may have to run the risk of facing the wrath of three of his four kids. Noa is named after the middle of his three daughters – his youngest is his son – and Noa is thrilled to have her name on the tallest building in Minneapolis.
“My youngest daughter is Ruby, and I am working on doing a steakhouse called Miss Ruby,” he said. “And my oldest daughter Sadie and my son Jacob, who’s the youngest, I’m working on a breakfast concept called Sadie and Jake’s. I just can’t say where in the country these are coming.”
Will it be kosher?