The Lunch Shoot
11 am on a Tuesday in March. I walked through the grand front entrance to the Saint Paul Hotel and took a sharp right. The dark, brooding doors of the St Paul Grill were just opening for lunch, and things were quiet.
I met Holt, the new general manager of the Grill - kind, professional, an expert at hospitality - and he showed me around the space. I had been to the hotel countless times to photograph dinner shows, Afternoon Tea, and their Holiday Décor, but has never set foot in the St. Paul Grill before. It was bigger than I had thought. With ample elbow room between tables and late morning light pouring in, warming the dark wood finishes and creating striking patterns across the carpet.
I eyed the tables and selected one near the window to maximize the natural light. Dishes were brought over from the kitchen, and I got to work.
The Dinner Shoot
I returned to the St Paul Grill the next week. It was a busy Friday evening in downtown St Paul. Right after a week of work. The weather brisk, but with spring just starting to show its face.
The bar was bustling, the kitchen moving quickly - there was a distinct liveliness to the room. The weekend was upon us. Good food and drink were at hand, and all was well in the world.