The Tap: In Favor of a Tip Credit
This week in the Tap: One case for a tip credit, and a look ahead at upcoming restaurants, notes about spots that have closed, and about those that have recently opened.
The Tap is the metro area’s comprehensive restaurant buzz roundup, so if you see a new or newly shuttered restaurant, or anything that’s “coming soon,” email Tap editor James Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A FEW WORDS IN FAVOR OF A TIP CREDIT
Every state has its own political traditions, and you can’t help but reflect aspects of where you grew up. I grew up in Madison, Wis., and I was intimately aware of two parallel but different left-wing political impulses: progressivism and radicalism. Both are squishy terms, and both bear plenty of subjective interpretation and historical analysis.
But here’s one idea of what they mean. A progressive searches for roads to improvement for the population at large, with an eye toward easing inequality and improving the overall welfare of the people. A progressive works, well, progressively: seeking incremental improvement through a series of political compromises and experimental initiatives.
A radical, by contrast, knows precisely what the ideal future should look like, and fights for it 100 percent — compromise is seen as weakness, and half-measures are a waste of time.
Raising the minimum wage in Minneapolis to $15 an hour with a tip credit — which is to say, with servers’ tips factored into calculating their wages — is a progressive move. It’s bold, sure, but there’s precedent in other cities, and the tip credit helps buffer the blow to small, independent restaurants that are already squeaking by on thin margins. Servers are guaranteed to make the new wage, and will in many cases earn more if tips are good.
Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all, tips be damned, is more expensive and consequently more dangerous for restaurants. Whether the good that will be gained from giving servers considerably higher wages will be offset by restaurants’ laying off help or shutting down isn’t at all clear. In a word, it’s a radical step. The rewards are bigger, but the risk of economic damage and a grassroots backlash seems real.
If you’re trying to make up your mind on the issue — and it’s a legitimately interesting debate with solid points scored on both sides — you could do worse than reading the essays by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and former mayor R.T. Rybak.
The Heavy Table is written with the health of the local food community in mind.Our readers are deeply invested in the farms, purveyors, and restaurants of the Upper Midwest. That system prospers when its people prosper, but those people include everyone from dishwashers to servers to chefs to owners, and it’s important to keep the whole system in mind as we work to improve the laws of the land. — James Norton
- Rise Bagel Company, 530 N 3rd St, Minneapolis | Quality bagels in a town hungry for them.
- The Original on 42nd, 1839 E 42nd St, Minneapolis | A sandwich shop in the former Colossal Cafe location.
- StormKing Barbecue, 16½ W 26th St, Minneapolis | A new Texas-style barbecue window from the team behind the adjacent Black Sheep Pizza.
- Grand Cafe, 3804 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis | Now owned by chefs Jamie Malone (above) and Erik Anderson, the cafe features cooking with a French viewpoint along with a new stone patio at the side of the building.
- The Cove, 1320 5th St SE, Minneapolis | Can poke succeed where crudo failed? Let’s find out.
- Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative, 3134 California St NE, Minneapolis | Member-owned. the brewery is primarily a production space, with limited tastings and other public events.
- Lien Son, 1216 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis | Back in business after years out of commission.
- Tenant, 4300 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis | A tasting-menu-only restaurant in the former Piccolo space.
- Black Stack Brewing, 755 Prior Ave N, St. Paul | Sharing a complex with Can Can Wonderland.
- Cardigan Donuts, 40 7th St S, Minneapolis | More action within the “fancy doughnut” sphere.
- Kado no Mise, 33 1st Ave N, Minneapolis | Carefully crafted Japanese fare at Kado ne Mise; sister restaurant Kaiseki Furukawa is on the way.
- Colossal Cafe, 2403 E 38th St, Minneapolis| New, larger cafe in the former Pilgrimage location.
CLOSED / CLOSING:
- Brewer’s Table at Surly (in early August).
- Bradstreet Crafthouse (reopening summer of 2018 at the InterContinental Minneapolis-St Paul Airport Hotel).
- Trotter’s (changed owners, re-opening as Tillie’s Farmhouse [see below]).
- Tanpopo (one of our favorite spots; closed just as the promising Kado no Mise and Kaiseki Furukawa come online. Kyatchi will open a new location in the space. Sunrise, sunset).
- Jerusalem’s (building to be demolished; closing end of August).
- Sidhe Brewing (reopening as Culhane Brewing in Lowertown, St. Paul).
- The Strip Club Meat and Fish (closing July 1).
- Sunrise Inn (The venerable 3.2 bar will reopen as Bull’s Horn Food and Drink under the aegis of Doug Flicker).
- Popol Vuh and Central | Fall | A two-restaurants-in-one (ala Birdie and Nighthawks) high concept / street food with a Mexican emphasis from the team behind the successful Lyn65 in Richfield.
- NOLO’s Kitchen and Bar and The Basement Bar, 515 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis | September
- Bardo, 222 E Hennepin Ave Minneapolis | Summer | A new “modern American bistro” in the old Rachel’s spot in Northeast, with chef/owner Remy Pettus.
- Hai Hai, 2121 University Ave NE, Minneapolis | Early Fall | New Southeast Asian restaurant by the team behind Hola Arepa at the former Double Deuce.
- Rebel Donut Bar, 1226 2nd St NE, Minneapolis | Soon | More action within the “fancy doughnut” sphere, but in this case miniaturized.
- 510 Lounge & Private Dining, 510 Groveland Ave, Minneapolis | Summer 2017 | Private event space and open-to-the-public lounge run by Chef Don Saunders (The Kenwood).
- Barbecue Joint Name TBA, 816 Lowry Ave NE, Minneapolis | 2017 | A Kansas-City-style barbecue place “with no chairs and tables” opened by some combination of the Travail team.
- Kaiseki Furukawa, 33 1st Ave N, Minneapolis | Soon | Classic kaiseki (progressive small courses) dining at Kaiseki Furukawa, sister restaurant to the already open Kado no Mise.
- Malcolm Yards Market, 501 30th Ave SE, Minneapolis | 2018 | A food market that will capitalize on its proximity to Surly’s massive brewery/restaurant complex.
- Barrel Theory Beer Company, 248 E 7th St, St. Paul | 2017 | As per the Growler: “A partnership between Surly Brewing Company’s former director of technology Brett Splinter, former Surly brewer Timmy Johnson, and CPA Todd Tibesar.” Our preview is here.
- Eureka Compass Vegan Food, 629 Aldine St, St. Paul | Summer | Will vegan croissants become a thing? Stay tuned.
- Funky Grits, 805 E 38th St, Minneapolis | Late Summer | A soul food spot in the home of the short-lived Hell’s Chicken and Fish.
- Gray Duck Tavern, 345 Wabasha St, St. Paul | Soon
- Delicata, 1341 Pascal St, St. Paul | Summer | A pizzeria and gelateria by Matty O’Reilly, hopefully evoking the glory days of Fat Lorenzo’s.
- Waldmann Brewery and Wurstery, 445 Smith Ave, St. Paul | September | “A craft brewery specializing in German lagers and a wurstery offering a variety of house-made sausages.”
- 12welve Eyes Brewing, 141 E 4th St, St. Paul | Summer | Opening in the Pioneer Endicott Building.
- Keg and Case revitalization of the Schmidt Brewery, 928 W 7th St, St. Paul | Summer 2017 | Featuring restaurants by the teams behind Corner Table, Hola Arepa, and Five Watt, plus Sweet Science ice cream.
- Tillie’s Farmhouse, 232 Cleveland Ave N, St. Paul | Summer | Seasonal cuisine, some of it with a Scandinavian influence — with ingredients from local farms — in the former Trotter’s Cafe. Trotter’s menu remains until the summer reopening.
- 11 Wells, Millwright Cocktail Room, Historic Hamm’s Brewery, St. Paul | Postponed to “at least 2018” | Multi-state distribution is keeping them busy.
Greater Twin Cities Area and Beyond
- Back Channel Brewing Collective, 4787 Shoreline Drive, Spring Park | Summer
- Portillo’s, 8450 Hudson Rd, Woodbury | July 11 | First Minnesota outpost of the famous Chicago hot dog empire.
- B-52 Burgers and Brew (expansion), 5639 Bishop Ave, Inver Grove Heights | June | Opening a new rooftop patio with full bar.
- Deconstructed, 705 Century Ave N, Suite B, Maplewood | Soon | A new pasta and pho spot by the owner of :D-Spot.
- Oakhold Farmhouse Brewery (formerly Oude Oak) Midway Township | 2017 | Construction on this new brewery just south of Duluth is under way.
The Tap is the Heavy Table’s guide to area restaurant openings, closings, and other major events. The Tap is compiled and published biweekly by the Heavy Table. If you have tips for The Tap, please email James Norton at email@example.com.