The Tap: Lucid Brewing, The Nicollet, Just Turkey, 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.

November’s winner: Matthew Ayres of Minneapolis

Lucid Brewing (on tap now at various locations)

6020 Culligan Way, Minnetonka | lucidbrewing.wordpress.com

A craft beer boomlet is developing in the western suburbs. Surly is a force from Brooklyn Center, and Steel Toe has been brewing for a few months in St. Louis Park. Now there’s Lucid, a Minnetonka brewery that just began production of two craft beers.

Lucid, owned by partners Jon Messier and Eric Biermann, has two flagship brews: Air, a light American ale; and Camo, a double India pale ale. Both are sneaking into bars around the metro, and early next year Lucid plans to begin selling growlers at the brewery and 22-ounce bomber bottles in liquor stores.

“We’re trying to do drafts only now, and that’s mostly because we just don’t have a bottling line,” Messier said. “We’re trying to get into as many bars as we can, starting out in the west in Minnetonka and moving east into St. Paul. You’ll be able to find us on draft at most beer bars hopefully in the next couple of weeks.”

Available now is Lucid Air, which Messier said leaned toward less-adventurous drinkers with its citrus aroma and crisp, dry finish.

“It’s definitely balanced more toward a malty beer but still a light, easy-drinking feel,” he said. “We’re gearing that toward people burned out by too much hops and too much dark malt. It’s the easiest-drinking craft beer you can find.”

Camo, available starting Dec. 10, is quite the opposite, with 9.5 percent ABV and ample hops and malt. “It’s really easy-drinking despite the high alcohol, so we call it Camo because it might sneak up on people,” Biermann said.

“We’re gearing that toward more of a craft beer drinker,” Messier said. “It’s definitely got a lot going on with it. We’re looking to release that in bars that are more craft beer-centric because it would scare away a Miller Lite drinker, that’s for sure.”

Seasonal beers are planned and likely will be unveiled at one of this winter’s beer festivals. Lucid also just raised $10,000 on Kickstarter to buy equipment for what Messier described as “pro-am” brewing. Homebrewers can bring their recipes to Lucid and use its full-scale system as a community brewing hub.

“We can do a small batch of 60 kegs that are just completely off the wall,” Messier said. “We’re going to help [homebrewers] to the point where we think the beer is sellable, then we’re going to do a very limited release and put their face on the tap handle and sell it as their beer. It’s like homebrew boot camp, and it’s for anybody who’s interested.”

Lucid Brewing beer is available now at a few spots, including The Public House, Pizza Luce Hopkins, and Longfellow Grill.

Jason Walker / Heavy Table

The Nicollet (now serving pizza)

1931 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.874.9125 | eatstreetpizza.com

Tucked into this relatively new coffee shop is Eat Street Pizza, spearheaded by The Nicollet owner Jeremy Konecny (above) and boasting crust made with West Side IPA from Harriet Brewing.

The pizzas, for dine-in, carryout, or delivery, are available with standard ingredients but also unique versions like West Side Thai (shrimp, mango, cilantro, and peanut sauce) and The Ugly Blue (blue jack cheese, roast beef, and cilantro with balsamic vinegar and olive oil sauce).

Konecny said that as he worked on the pizzas over time, they morphed from traditional pizzeria ingredients into a totally homemade, healthy product.

“The frozen crust we were buying turned out to taste more like a communion wafer and less like a good dough,” he said. “This brought another couple weeks of ‘R and D’ while we came up with something totally new for a restaurant pizza crust. While I won’t give away our secrets in neither the crust nor the sauce, let me say this: whole tomatoes and yeasty beer make really great pizza.”

Konecny also plans to tinker with crusts using additional Harriet brews, too, and is hoping to add beer and wine sales soon.

Delivery is available evenings Monday-Saturday in a surprisingly large swath, from downtown south to Lake St and from I-35W west to Hennepin.

The Original Just Turkey Restaurant (coming soon)

3758 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | originaljustturkey.com

It’s a turkey bonanza. First, the State Fair’s Turkey to Go opens a skyway location in St. Paul with one on the way for Minneapolis. Now, it’s The Original Just Turkey Restaurant, coming to the former Chelly’s Cafe at 38th St and Nicollet Ave. Just Turkey, which serves turkey in ways you may have never seen, has six current locations, but this will be its first outside the Chicago metro.

So, everything is turkey, even the barbecue ribs, which aren’t really ribs but a cut of turkey shoulder that keeps a bone, making them rib-like. There are also barbecued turkey tips, turkey burgers, sausages, and hot links, and non-barbecue items like turkey chili, tacos, lasagna, and spaghetti.

Just Turkey didn’t return a call for comment on a possible opening date, but The Tap will keep you turkey freaks posted.

NOW OPEN

  • Lucid Brewing, 6020 Culligan Way, Minnetonka. On tap now at various locations; growler sales begin in January. | lucidbrewing.wordpress.com
  • Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee, 1830 Glenwood Ave N, Minneapolis | 612.377.4476 | venturenorthbwc.org
  • Eat Street Pizza, 1931 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis (inside The Nicollet) | 612.874.9125 | eatstreetpizza.com
  • Famous Dave’s, 590 Prairie Center Dr, Eden Prairie. New counter-service prototype. | famousdaves.com
  • Zamboni Pizza, 184 7th St W, St. Paul | 651.225.2999
  • Kopplins Coffee, 2038 Marshall Ave, St. Paul (new location) | 651.698.0457 | kopplinscoffee.com
  • Social House, 2919 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.824.6300 | socialhousempls.com
  • Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon, 546 Commons Dr, Woodbury | 651.357.1050 | wildbills-sportssaloon.com
  • Fulton Brewing, 414 6th Ave N, Minneapolis. Now open for growler sales. | fultonbeer.com

Kate N.G. Sommers / Heavy Table

  • Rye Delicatessen & Bar, 1930 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | Our take
  • Jason’s Deli, 7565 France Ave S, Edina | 952.358.9900 | jasonsdeli.com
  • Krung Thep Thai Cuisine, 2523 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.874.7716
  • Kyoto Sushi, 13751 Grove Dr, Maple Grove | 763.488.1588
  • Turkey to Go, Alliance Bank Center, St. Paul | turkeytogo.com
  • Lemongrass Bol de la Vie, 8505 Valley Creek Rd, Woodbury (inside Kowalski’s) | lemongrassboldelavi.com
  • The Donut Cooperative, 2929 E 25th St, Minneapolis | 612.353.6089 |thedonutcooperative.com
  • My Burger, 3100 Excelsior Blvd, Minneapolis | Find it on Facebook
  • Ernie’s Pub & Grille, 14351 Nicollet Ct, Burnsville | 952.435.2867 | erniespub.com
  • Stout’s Pub, 1611 Larpenteur Ave, Falcon Heights | 651.789.8888 | stoutspub.com
  • Mezz Lounge, 14401 Burnhaven Dr, Burnsville | 952.892.3456 | mezzlounge.com
  • Pig & Fiddle, 3808 W 50th St, Minneapolis | 952.955.8385
  • Menchie’s, 750 Cleveland Ave, St. Paul | 651.797.6428 | Find it on Facebook
  • Pittsburgh Blue, 3200 Galleria, Edina | 952.567.2700 |pittsburghbluesteak.com
  • Smashburger, 2138 Ford Pkwy, St. Paul | smashburger.com
  • Queen’s Cafe, 2700 E Lake St, Minneapolis
  • Mesa Pizza, 1440 W Lake St, Minneapolis | mesapizzamn.com
  • Rare Steak and Sushi, 755 Prairie Center Dr (inside Lifetime Fitness), Eden Prairie | 952.829.8484 | rarempls.com
  • Technique, 1440 Northland Dr, Mendota Heights | 651.286.2400 | Our take
  • No-Neck Tony’s, 231 Myrtle St, Stillwater | 651.342.1261 | nonecktonys.com
  • The Four Firkins, 5630 36th St, St. Louis Park | 952.938.2847 | thefourfirkins.com
  • Mojo Monkey Donuts, 1169 7th St W, St. Paul | 651.224.0142 | Find it on Facebook
  • Maeve’s Cafe, 300 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis | 612.379.1033 | Our take
  • Zen Box Izakaya, 602 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.332.3936 | Find it on Facebook

Natalie Champa Jennings / Heavy Table

  • Pat’s Tap, 3510 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.822.8216 | Our take
  • Rosa Mexicano, 609 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | Our take
  • Sweet Bebe Cakes, 409 15th Ave N, South St. Paul | 651.457.5082 | sweetbebecakes.com

CLOSED / CLOSING:

  • Baldy’s BBQ, 1813 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis
  • La Sirena Gorda, 920 E. Lake St (Midtown Global Market)
  • Cafe Twenty Eight, 2724 W 43rd St, Minneapolis. Closing Dec. 31. | 612.926.2800 | cafetwentyeight.com
  • Shorty & Wags, 3753 Nicollet Ave S
  • Koyi Sushi, 2111 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis

COMING UP:

  • Valley Tap House, 14889 Florence Tr, Apple Valley. Opens Dec. 12. | 952.431.2337 | Find it on Facebook
  • Colossal Cafe, 2315 Como Ave, St. Paul. Opens mid-December. | colossalcafe.com
  • Butcher and the Boar, 1121 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens in January. | Find it on Facebook
  • Turkey to Go, Baker Center, Minneapolis. Opens in January. | turkeytogo.com
  • Which Wich, 2073 Ford Pkwy, St. Paul. Opens in January. | whichwich.com
  • Sweet Ducky Cupcakery, 117 W Churchill St #2, Stillwater. Opens in January. | Find it on Facebook
  • American Joe, 344 Wabasha St N, St. Paul
  • Zest! Bar and Grill, 525 Diffley Rd, Eagan | 651.468.9053 | zesteagan.com
  • Blood and Chocolates, 495 Selby Ave, St. Paul | 651.492.4799 | Find it on Facebook
  • Eli’s East Food and Cocktails, 815 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.331.0031 | Find it on Facebook
  • Still-unnamed gastropub, 89 S 10th St, Minneapolis (former The Inn, Subo, Hell’s Kitchen space)
  • Bar Louie, 1320 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis. Opens spring 2012. | barlouieamerica.com
  • Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis. Opens April 2012.
  • Smokehouse Brewpub, 38th St and 28th Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens May 2012. | smokehousebrewpub.com
  • Rodizio Grill, 12197 Elm Creek Blvd N, Maple Grove. Opens in 2012. | rodiziogrill.com
  • Dangerous Man Brewing, 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis | 612.377.4164 | dangerousmanbrewing.wordpress.com
  • The Original Just Turkey Restaurant, 3758 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | originaljustturkey.com
  • Humble Pie, 822 W 36th St, Minneapolis. Kim Bartmann’s revamp of Gigi’s. | 612.825.0818
  • Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis | thebdp.com
  • El Loro, 2535 W. Highway 10, Mounds View
  • Five Guys, 8360 3rd St N, Oakdale | fiveguys.com
  • Cupcake, Grand Ave, St. Paul
  • Burger Night, Minneapolis
  • Fasika, University Ave and Dale St, St. Paul | fasika.com
  • Rincon 38, 38th St and Grand Ave, Minneapolis
  • Eat Street Social, 14 W 26th St, Minneapolis
  • Selma’s Ice Cream, 3419 Saint Croix Trl S, Afton. Opens in 2012.
  • Cranky’s Bicycle Bar, E Lake St, Minneapolis | Find it on Facebook

The Tap is The Heavy Table’s guide to area restaurant openings, closings, and other major events. The Tap is compiled by Heavy Table writer Jason Walker, and will be published biweekly. If you already subscribe to our newsletter, look for an emailed version of The Tap every other week — otherwise, you can find it on the website on alternating Tuesdays.

If you’ve got tips for The Tap, please email Jason Walker at jason@heavytable.com. The Tap’s Twitter feed has moved to@heavytable.

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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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