J.J.’s Coffee + Wine Bistro, 612Brew, Badger Hill Brewing, La Loma, and more

 

Readers: Win Heavy Table pint glasses

The Tap loves restaurant tips from readers, so we’re awarding a Heavy Table pint glass to the best tipster each month. 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 Jason Walker at jason@heavytable.com.

June’s winner: Tara Kumar of Minneapolis

Scott Theisen / Heavy Table

J.J.’s Coffee + Wine Bistro (now open)

1806 W Lake St, Minneapolis | 612.522.8000

Thirsty Lake Calhoun walkers and Uptown residents, take notice: now open just across the parkway from the Tin Fish is J.J.’s Coffee + Wine Bistro, specializing in coffee, wine, and beer and also serving a complementary menu of flatbreads, veggie burgers, salads, and small plates.

Owned by Mark and Jenny Jundt and a second location of J.J.’s (the original is in Eden Prairie), the new bistro aims to break into the crowded Uptown market with its lake-view patio and dedication to top-notch coffee. Mark Jundt said the couple’s passion lay in coffee; they work with a local roaster, Kevin Norwood of Cannon Falls’ Roaster Direct, who creates exclusive beans for J.J.’s.

“Our primary focus is on beverages,” Jundt said. “The interesting thing about blending coffee, wine, and beer is that they all have a similar flavor profile. How it hits your palate; is it crisp, clean, sour, bitter? Coffee, wine, and beer complement each other very well.”

There are about 40 wines available by the glass, six beers on tap, and another 20 or so in the bottle. The taps rotate and focus on local craft brews.

But food isn’t forgotten, as J.J.’s has a whopping selection of six vegetarian burgers, a bevy of small plates and flatbreads, and lavosh, which is an Armenian cracker bread topped with melted Danish havarti and vegetables. All the menu items, Jundt said, were chosen to easily complement the drinks, and next to each on the menu is a suggested wine and beer pairing.

J.J.’s hopes to claim a nice little niche in the area, drawing in neighborhood folks and lake-walkers alike with its laid-back, all-day choices.

“We’re a coffee shop, so we’re selling and featuring beverages and then creating a food menu that complements them instead of in place of them,” Jundt said. “There’s a lot of traffic just walking by and we’ve got a small patio, so that’s kind of a huge billboard.”

612Brew taproom (opens late 2012)

945 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis

There’s no end in sight to the cavalcade of new Minneapolis breweries. The latest is 612Brew, which just signed a lease at Central and Broadway in Northeast Minneapolis and hopes to have its taproom open and selling growlers by the end of the year. 612Brew was started by four homebrewing friends and will sell two flagship beers: “SIX,” a pale ale, and “Rated R,” a rye IPA, as well as a summer seasonal lager and a black ale. 612Brew also plans to eventually sell its beers — in cans — in liquor stores.

“There has been a recent craft beer trend of ‘imperialized’ or ‘aged’ beers with huge body and high alcohol content,” said brewery president Adit Kalra. “612Brew offers an alternative, with beers that fall more into the ‘sessionable’ category with moderate- to low-alcohol content.”

612Brew also hopes to have available in the taproom a menu of Indian street food.

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

Badger Hill Brewing (now available)

6020 Culligan Way, Minnetonka

Another new brewery, Minnetonka’s Badger Hill, just launched its line of beers to bars and restaurants, with bottling to soon commence.

Started by two brothers and uniting with Lucid Brewing to share its brewery space as part of Lucid’s “pro-am” program, Badger Hill will produce three beers: MSB (Minnesota Special Bitter), Foundation stout, and Three Tree rye; all should be available by month’s end.

“We set out to brew beers that are complex but very drinkable,” brewery president Brittany Krekelberg said. “Our first three beers all toe the line between malty and bitter and will be full of flavor with great aroma.”

Badger Hill also hopes to brew a fall limited release beer aged partly in Door County wine barrels. (Check Heavy Table tomorrow for a full profile of Badger Hill and its brewers.)

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

La Loma (now open)

444 Cedar St (Town Square skyway), St. Paul | 651.202.3153

Now open in downtown St. Paul: La Loma, home of the best lunch deal around, legendary tamales, and super-fresh Mexican cuisine. For $5.50 each weekday, the Monday-Friday lunch special schedule goes quesadilla, chili relleno, tamale platter, pollo en mole, and taco platter.

The new St. Paul skyway location also sells take-home frozen tamales, which are a deal in their own right at $6.99, as well as a taco salad, chilaquiles, and a few other options.

NOW OPEN

CLOSED / CLOSING:

  • Alix in Candyland, 5400 France Ave S, Edina
  • Homemade Pizza Company, 830 Lake St E, Wayzata
  • Coffee Gallery, 1011 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Mill City Cafe, 2205 California St NE, Minneapolis

COMING UP:
Minneapolis

  • Somos Peru, 6009 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. | 612.244.3400
  • El Burrito Mercado, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market). Opens this summer.
  • Azia Market Bar & Restaurant, 2550 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.813.1200
  • People’s Organic, 80 S 8th St (IDS Center Crystal Court), Minneapolis. Opens July 2.
  • Smack Shack, Washington Ave N and 6th Ave N, Minneapolis. Opens in July.
  • Little Tijuana, 17 E 26th St, Minneapolis. Reopenfing late July. | 612.872.0578
  • Primebar, 3001 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.235.4295
  • Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in August.
  • Rincon 38, 3801 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.408.7063
  • Cafe Maude at Loring, 1612 Harmon Pl, Minneapolis
  • Bar Louie, 1320 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this summer.
  • Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub, 2724 E 38th St, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.328.1450
  • Well Seasoned, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market) | 612.886.2489
  • New Bohemia, 233 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Indeed Brewing, 711 15th Ave NE, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.643.1226
  • :D-Spot, Dinkytown, Minneapolis. Opens in August.
  • Tangiers Eatery and Lounge, 116 First Ave N, Minneapolis. Opens in September.
  • The Lynn on Bryant, 50th St and Bryant Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this fall.
  • New Don Saunders restaurant, 2115 W 21st St (old Kenwood Cafe), Minneapolis
  • Dangerous Man Brewing, 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis | 612.377.4164
  • The Original Just Turkey Restaurant, 3758 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Rusty Taco, 522 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Sorrento Cucina Italiana, 623 Marquette Ave (Northstar Center skyway), Minneapolis
  • Yogurt Lab, 80 8th St S, Minneapolis (IDS Center skyway); 5007 France Ave S, Minneapolis; 309 SE Oak St, Minneapolis
  • Dilla’s Ethiopian Restaurant, 1813 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis | 612.290.1701
  • Fitger’s Brewhouse, 107 3rd Ave N, Minneapolis. Opens late 2012.
  • Burch, 1942 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Isaac Becker’s planned steakhouse in old Burch Pharmacy; opens in late 2012/early 2013.
  • World Street Kitchen, 2743 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens late 2012.
  • 612 Brew taproom, 945 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis. Opens late 2012.
  • Unnamed rooftop restaurant in old Shinders, 733 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Unnamed Kim Bartmann restaurant, 1014 E 38th St, Minneapolis
  • Mill City Cafe, NE Minneapolis. Still searching for new location.

St. Paul

  • Cupcake, 949 Grand Ave, St. Paul. Opens this summer.
  • MN Saloon, 395 Robert St N, St. Paul. Opens July 13.
  • Foxy Falafel, 791 Raymond Ave, St. Paul. Opens this summer.
  • Bon Vie Cafe / A Piece of Cake, combining later this spring at 485 Selby Ave, St. Paul | 651.846.0016
  • Louis, 211 7th St W, St. Paul. Cossetta’s market opening new rooftop restaurant; opens this summer. | 651.222.3476
  • Damera Ethiopian Bar & Restaurant, 823 University Ave, St. Paul
  • Chopstiks Cafe, 501 University Ave, St. Paul

Greater Twin Cities Area

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 Heavy Table writer Jason Walker. If you have tips for The Tap, please email Jason at jason@heavytable.com.

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About the Author

Jason Walker

Jason Walker was born and raised in Kansas, where he grew up loving his grandmother’s homemade noodles and weekly fried fish. A summer internship in Milwaukee turned Jason and his wife, Leita, into die-hard fans of the Northwoods culture, and they moved to Minneapolis in 2006. Immediately the quality of food and drink in the Twin Cities was impressive – that even the most unassuming bar usually had a decent menu – and Jason knew he was home. Now living in the Fulton neighborhood with two kids, Jason grows tomatoes, cans voraciously, and badgers his neighbors with conversations about restaurants.

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