The 2012 Great Spring / Summer Openings Roundup
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 email@example.com.
May’s winner: Jane Pennington of Minneapolis
Late Spring Opening Roundup
The Tap has had quite a lengthy “Coming Soon” list, and that’s changing at a rapid pace. Several high-profile new restaurants have opened in the past couple of weeks; here’s a quick rundown of what’s newly available for you to check out.
Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
Opening with a focus on not just food and drink but also live music, Icehouse is yet another piece in the quickly energizing Eat Street nightlife scene. Co-owned by Matthew Bickford, who helped develop the North Loop’s terrific Be’wiched Deli, Icehouse opened in a big ol’ historic building, a former ice warehouse. It serves gastropubby food and small plates as well as deli meats, lots of beers, and a cocktail list curated by Johnny Michaels of La Belle Vie.
Birdhouse, 2516 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.377.2213
Stewart and Heidi Woodman didn’t take long updating the old Duplex into their version of a “sustainable” eatery, serving plates that are vegetarian-friendly, healthy, and organic. Meat is available but typically as an add-on, and portions are kept small to feed the sustainable theme by keeping calorie counts reasonable. Don’t go here expecting anything like Heidi’s, the Woodmans’ fine dining establishment around the way, and keep the small portions in mind if you usually eat like a caveman.
J.J.’s Coffee Company & Wine Bar, 1806 W Lake St, Minneapolis
Within spitting distance of Lake Calhoun comes J.J.’s, which brings to Minneapolis its brand of wine, coffee and light fare that began at the original location in Eden Prairie. Owner Jenny Jundt hit a nerve with the original J.J.’s, giving suburbanites a cozy place to hang out all day with a warm, comforting space that had decent but unassuming food in the chain-heavy city; now, Minneapolitans can see what she’s all about. Being across from the lake can’t hurt, I imagine, but she will have plenty more competition here.
Cowboy Jack’s, 126 5th St N, Minneapolis | 612.224.9950
Right next to Target Field, Cowboy Jacks is a huge rustic-themed bar and restaurant with a mechanical bull and … well, you probably can guess the rest. Its location will draw the baseball fans as well as the bros, that’s for sure, but probably not the fooderati. It also serves a weekend “rehab menu” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Did I mention there’s a mechanical bull?
Royal Orchid, 4022 Central Ave NE, Columbia Heights | 763.789.9999
Originally on Eat Street but most recently with locations in Roseville and the Baker Center skyway in downtown Minneapolis, Royal Orchid has reinvented itself in Columbia Heights. Its website says that the new restaurant’s menu will “maintain a focus on traditional Thai dishes but will also begin introducing unique dishes that will set us apart from the other Thai restaurants.” Like Thai-style caramel cinnamon rolls? That sounds awfully intriguing.
Wings N Things, 324 W Broadway, Minneapolis | 612.735.0637
The North Side needs more restaurants that aren’t fast food chains, although Wings N Things is probably the polar opposite of the aforementioned Birdhouse regarding healthfulness of menu. Fish, chicken and waffles, wings, cheese curds and a few sandwiches round out the menu … there’s even hard-to-find fried okra. Most everything may be deep-fried, but Wings N Things revamped a ratty old building right off I-94 into a clean little space, and it’s just outside downtown.
Maruso Street Food and Cocktails, 715 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.333.0100
Speaking of opening in a once-ratty building, Maruso Street Food and Cocktails is now open and sticks to the trend of “food truck-style” restaurants. There’s a full bar and several decent taps, and chef Andrew Garrison’s globally inspired menu consists of Asian-style bowls, a few sandwiches, and small plates like pierogies, spring rolls, wings and shrimp. Located in the former To Soho store between Barfly and the Skyway strip club, Maruso deserves quite a bit of credit for investing in an otherwise scuzzy block.
- Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
- Birdhouse, 2516 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.377.2213
- J.J.’s Coffee Company & Wine Bar, 1806 W Lake St, Minneapolis
- Cowboy Jack’s, 126 5th St N, Minneapolis | 612.224.9950
- Karta Thai, 2411 Central Ave, Minneapolis | 612.788.4000
- Royal Orchid, 4022 Central Ave NE, Columbia Heights | 763.789.9999
- Birdtown Cafe, 4135 W Broadway, Robbinsdale | 763.537.1196
- Alley Sports Tavern, 100 6th St N, Minneapolis | 612.367.8365
- Moonlight Cafe, 1907 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis | 612.594.1460
- Tavern Grill, 772 Bielenberg Dr, Woodbury | 651.578.3000
- Wings N Things, 324 W Broadway, Minneapolis | 612.735.0637
- TruBerry Frozen Yogurt, 949 Grand Ave, St. Paul | 651.222.2740
- Maruso Street Food and Cocktails, 715 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.333.0100
- The Pourhouse, 10 5th St S, Minneapolis | 612.843.2555
- The Left Handed Cook, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market) | 612.208.0428
- Pita Plus Sandwich Grill, 1501 Riverwood Dr, Burnsville | 952.895.4058
- Giuseppe’s, 15090 Chippendale Ave, Rosemount | 651.423.4455
- Devil’s Advocate, 89 S 10th St, Minneapolis | 612.843.2260
- Tadka Indian Bistro, 1221 W Lake St, Minneapolis | 612.824.6342
- Pupuseria las Palmeras, 4159 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis | 612.729.2025
- Casper’s Cherokee Sirloin Room, 4625 Nicols Rd, Eagan | 651.454.6744
- Angel Food Bakery, 80 S 9th St, Minneapolis | 612.238.1435
- Harriet Brasserie, 2724 W 43rd St, Minneapolis | 612.354.2197
- George & the Dragon, 813 W 50th St, Minneapolis | 612.355.9114
- Mona, 333 S 7th St, Minneapolis | 612.259.8636
- Don Julio, 4460 N Hwy 61, White Bear Lake | 651.407.2888
- Agua Brava, 7112 Bass Lake Rd, New Hope | 763.432.2785
- Falafel King, 1199 W 7th St, St. Paul | 651.207.5777
CLOSED / CLOSING:
- Mill City Cafe, 2205 California St NE, Minneapolis. Closed, but planning to open in new location.
- Coffee Gallery, 1011 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis. Closing this summer. | 612.215.2626
- Viva Brazil, 913 W Lake St, Minneapolis
- Tschida Bakery, 1116 Rice St, St. Paul
- Chai’s Thai, 414 1/2 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis
- Minnehaha Coffee, 4554 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis
- Fika, 2600 Park Ave S (American Swedish Institute), Minneapolis | 612.871.4907
- Mosaic Cafe, 3019 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.746.1504
- Somos Peru, 6009 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. | 612.244.3400
- El Burrito Mercado, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market). Opens in June.
- Azia Market Bar & Restaurant, 2550 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.813.1200
- People’s Organic, IDS Center Crystal Court, Minneapolis. Opens July 2.
- Smack Shack, Washington Ave N and 6th Ave N, Minneapolis. Opens in July.
- 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
- Little Tijuana, 17 E 26th St, Minneapolis. Reopening this summer. | 612.872.0578
- 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
- Tangiers Eatery and Lounge, 116 First Ave N, Minneapolis. Opens in September.
- The Lynn on Bryant, 50th and Bryant, Minneapolis
- 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.
- 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, 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
- Cupcake, 949 Grand Ave, St. Paul. Opens this summer.
- La Loma, Town Square skyway (6th and Cedar), 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
- Spice Thai Cafe, 7704 160th St, Lakeville. Opens this summer.
- Pizza Luce, 800 W 66th St, Richfield. Opens in July. | 612.767.8603
- Nadia Cakes, 11650 Fountains Dr, Suite 207, Maple Grove. Opens in July.
- Candyland, 212 N Main St, Stillwater. Opens this summer.
- Sole Mio, 1750 Weir Dr, Woodbury. Opens in July.
- Lone Oak Grill, 3010 Eagandale Place, Eagan. Opens July 30.
- Moe’s Southwest Grill, Penn Ave S and American Blvd, Bloomington. Opens in August.
- Bread, Coffee & Cake, 750 Minnesota 110, Mendota Heights. Opens in August.
- Raku Modern Japanese Cuisine, 5371 W 16th St (Shops at West End), St. Louis Park. Opens this summer.
- Byblos Lebanese Grill, 14637 County Rd 11, Burnsville | 612.327.3663
- Ike’s, 17805 Hwy 7, Minnetonka. Opens this summer.
- Sweet Ducky Cupcakery, 117 W Churchill St #2, Stillwater. Opens this summer. | 651.472.1150
- Masu Sushi & Robata, Mall of America. Opens this summer.
- Excelsior Brewing Company, 421 3rd St, Excelsior. Beers available on tap this summer. | 952.474.7837
- Hurricane Grill & Wings, Burnsville. Opens in October.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.