The Travail Collective

The co-captains of the Travail Collective are the James Beard Award semi-finalists James Winberg, Bob Gerken, and Mike Brown. Working with a foundation of classic French cooking techniques, our restaurants curate a chef-driven, customized dining spectacular focused on engagement, delight, and damn good food.


Our Restaurants

The Travail Collective includes Travail Kitchen and Amusements, Minnesota BBQ Co., and Pig Ate My Pizza Kitchen and Brewery. 2019 is a major year of change with the opening of MN BBQ, a newly renovated Pig Ate My Pizza adding a microbrewery component, and the new Travail 3.0 under construction, slated to open in the fall.


Travail Mpls Residency

While Travail 3.0 is being built, we have moved to a temporary space in downtown Minneapolis for what we call our Travail Minneapolis Residency. During this residency we are hosting short-term dining concepts. We are still bringing our whole Travail team and our tried-and-true Travail concept: a pre-fixe tasting menu sold in advance through ticketed reservations, open Wednesday-Saturday, with a first-come, first-served bar. At the bar we serve craft cocktails, beer on tap, and wine along with an a la carte food menu thematically consistent with the current concept.

Travail Oktoberfest-4474.jpg

Minnesota BBQ Co.

Located at 816 Lowry Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis, this take-out craft barbecue restaurant is a collaboration between Kansas-native Kale Thome, longtime executive chef at Travail, and Travail co-founders Mike Brown, James Winberg and Bob Gerken. Thome’s debut menu features St. Louis pork ribs, smoked to perfection until the meat falls off the bone, tender brisket and chicken served up with sweet-and-savory sauce alongside dirty rice and beans, creamed sweet potatoes, cheesy noodles, apple fennel slaw and cucumber salad. The menu will also evolve to include other modern riffs on timeless barbecue favorites including pulled pork, smoked duck and house-made apple bacon sausage.


Pig Ate My Pizza Kitchen + Brewery

After being named one of the “Best Pizza Places in the U.S.” by Time and Food & Wine, the Travail Collective chef-owners Mike Brown, James Winberg and Bob Gerken have worked to enhance the Pig Ate My Pizza experience with inspired food and beverage pairings, including craft cocktails developed by bar director Nathaniel Smith and a micro-brewery developed with longtime Travail Chef de Cuisine Andy Goettsch, chef/brewer Nate Moser, and chef Josh Disher.

The new space, which offers twice the seating of the former Pig Ate My Pizza, features an expansive bar, a take-out area, and family-style dining in a Minnesota-style screened porch area. Garage door-style windows provide open-air dining in warm weather and abundant natural light in all seasons.

The pork-forward menu includes original favorites like the Piggy Pie, Big Cheeser and Diana Ross, as well as a whole slew of new rotating craft pizzas, a build-your-own-za menu with seasonal ingredients, plus small plates, salads, and desserts. Pig is now open seven days a week. Pizza and select appetizers are available for take-out. No reservations are needed to dine on the pizza side or at the bar. Ticketed reservations are required and now available for the new six-course Brewer’s Tasting menu dining experience.


General Inquiries

For general inquiries, please email or fill out the form below. For specific media & press questions please email

Name *