Ritual Salad planning mid-March opening

Cori Zastera, left, and her husband Jason, stand in front of the Ritual Salad location at 1802 W. Superior St. in Lincoln Park last summer before a remodel of the building began. (Photo by Mark Nicklawske).

New Lincoln Park restaurant Ritual Salad is slated to open to the public March 17. It will serve salads and soups, and feature a gift shop with crystals, books, jewelry and more.

“On the 17th, I’m going to open to the public until I sell out,” Ritual Salad owner Cori Zastera said. “If I need to change or fix a few things, I’m just going to take a day or two between the soft open and the hard open.”

Zastera originally planned to open the restaurant in late October, as reported in a Perfect Duluth Day story in September, but she put it on hold due to the death of her sister-in-law on Sept. 13. A month later, on Oct. 13, her husband was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

“I had to slow down a little bit and just take some time for our family,” Zastera said. “And then I got right back to it as soon as everything was taken care of.”

Zastera intended to serve alcohol, but learned Duluth’s alcoholic beverage code requires restaurants have “appropriate facilities for the serving of meals and for seating not less than 25 guests at one time.” Ritual Salad will seat eight customers.

Zastera plans on a private opening to serve friends and family on March 15 and to restaurant industry associates on March 16.

“I have lots of friends and respected old coworkers and stuff that I would like to be a part of it,” Zastera said.

While she feels slightly nervous, Zastera knows she belongs in the restaurant industry.

“I haven’t really gotten the jitters until now,” Zastera said. “Now it’s feeling very real, but I’m very confident that this is exactly what the universe wants me to be doing. I’m so excited to share it with everybody.”

An update to this story: Ritual Salad was not actually able to open until April 1, and that’s no April Fools Day joke.

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