SSP America Opens Acclaimed Local Restaurants Republic and LoLo at MSP

SSP America, a division of SSP Group, a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, announced today the opening of Republic and LoLo American Kitchen & Craft Bar at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.


Republic is a modern day gastropub where visitors and locals of all passenger demographics will find a comfortable seat. The celebrated establishment—it’s original 7 Corners location was named among the “Top Beer Bars in America 2013-2016” by Draft Magazine— delivers exactly what natives are so proud of in the region’s land of plenty: locally crafted beer and flavorful food grown by regional farmers.


In an exciting partnership to premiere only at Republic’s Terminal 1 location, the widely acclaimed McNally Smith College of Music—which has helped students build contemporary careers in music for over 30 years—will showcase the talents of its students, alumni and faculty with live music performances during peak travel times (3:30–7:00pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and 1:30–5pm on Sundays). Reflecting the diversity of music styles taught at the College, performances will span a variety of genres, ranging from traditional jazz to classical guitar to hip-hop.


Matthew O’Reilly, owner of Republic commented, “We’re thrilled to have our brand represented at MSP Airport. We’ve worked hard to be a leader in local and craft beer. Our hope is to carry that message to MSP travelers so they can experience what we’re up to. The McNally/Smith connection is a perfect fit. We’re very much in to local music and the arts, so we could not have asked for a better partner aligned with our values.”


“We’re excited to partner with Republic to bring the first-ever live music venue to MSP, and we’re honored to share the richness and diversity of our community’s musical talent with the million-plus travelers who pass through the airport every year,” says McNally Smith President Harry Chalmiers.


LoLo means “Locally Owned Locally Operated” and it’s owners, Brad Nordeen and Joe Ehlenz, have created a bar scene in their hometown of Stillwater that focuses on craft cocktails and craft beer. The open kitchen will allow diners to see and interact with the chefs to experience the creation of memorable food. LoLo at MSP will be a space where people feel appreciated—where passengers can have a well-shaken cocktail or a beautifully constructed small plate featuring prized, seasonal ingredients.


Joe Ehlenz, managing partner of LoLo explained, “Our goal is to deliver an authentic experience to the MSP traveler. We want to keep the same ideals that we’ve kept street side—scratch bar to kitchen using local distillers and food products. It’s been a winning combination for us, and we believe with SSP America as our operating partner, it will be a winning combination at the Airport.”


Brian Ryks, Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Airports Commission commended SSP by saying: “SSP has been a long-time partner of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and has demonstrated time and again its commitment to upholding MSP’s mission ‘to provide your best airport experience.’ Republic and LoLo showcase some of the best restaurants our state has to offer. I want to thank SSP for its support of some outstanding local entrepreneurs and its elevation of MSP’s restaurant offerings in terms of both design and culinary innovation.”

Michael Svagdis, president and CEO of SSP America, commented, “Republic and LoLo are incredible examples of the Twin Cities thriving food scene, renowned Midwestern hospitality, and diverse culture that celebrates the region’s bountiful farmland. By layering in performances that showcase the rich music traditions of the region, the McNally Smith College of Music will ensure MSP passengers enjoy an environment that delivers a complete Midwest experience. The SSP America team is thrilled to bring these three extraordinary culinary and cultural institutions to MSP.”