Urban Growler Brewing Company and More

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Readers: Win Pint Glasses

The Tap loves restaurant tips from readers, so we’re awarding a copy of “The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food” to the best tipster of July and August. 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 editor@heavytable.com.

Courtesy Urban Growler

Courtesy Urban Growler

Urban Growler Brewing Company (opens this winter)
2325 Endicott St, St. Paul

Deb Loch of the upcoming Urban Growler Brewing Company didn’t choose to be a brewer; it was more like the profession chose her. “I just found myself in every spare moment thinking of my next brew, my next recipe, what I was going to do to make it better, what equipment I was going to make or buy,” she says. “I was just obsessed with it.”

Loch’s brewing pedigree includes time at the Minocqua Brewing Company, a brewing apprenticeship at Summit, and a couple of blue ribbons at last year’s Minnesota State Fair, for Bock and IPA beers. Together with partner Jill Pavlak (a former manager with the Lowry and Longfellow Grill, both Blue Plate restaurants), Loch is hoping to turn her experience into a new St. Paul brewery and taproom with an emphasis on local ingredients.

The 6,200-square-foot space is slated to open late this year and will function as a 10-barrel brewhouse and feature a spacious beer garden and 6-8 housemade beers on draft. Those beers will often reflect the taste of the Upper Midwest.

“We have what we call the Plow to Pint series,” Loch says. “We partner with local farmers and tell their stories, and some of the ingredients that fall into that category are wild rice, raspberries, blueberries, and in the fall I make a pumpkin saison.”

Courtesy Urban Growler

Courtesy Urban Growler

“We also tap our customers for ingredients — we call them urban growers,” she says. “I have customers who bring in their rhubarb in exchange for a pint of our spring rhubarb wit. So they’ll become part of making the beer.”

A brewery owned by two women is a rarity, and Loch and Pavlak hope to turn their perspective into a selling point.

“We’ll do things that women will notice,” says Pavlak. “We’ll do half pints, not all of our chairs will be high tops. We want women to notice we’re marketing them to but not to the exclusion of men. It’s not like we’ll have pink pint glasses, but the environment will be warm … all the things we like when we go to a brewery, we’re going to make happen at our space.”

On both July 18 and 19 from 5-8pm, Urban Growler Brewing Company will host open houses, featuring beer samples and opportunities for guests to become founding members (with free pint privileges that recall those of Northbound Smokehouse) or $10,000 (or greater) investors in the venture.

Peter’s Grill (closed)
114 S 8th St, Minneapolis

Earlier this month, we broke the story of Peter’s Grill closing — the downtown Minneapolis stalwart was approaching its 100th year in business, but closed with owner Peter Atsidakos citing competition from food trucks as a key factor in the restaurant’s demise. “There are 14 of them here on the street every day,” he said, “and most of our business is at noontime.” The restaurant’s last day was June 29.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Seward Co-op – Second Location (opens late 2014 or 2015)
38th St and Clinton Ave S, Minneapolis

After a successful move and relaunch nearly five years ago, Seward Co-op is expanding to a second location in South Minneapolis at Clinton Ave S and 38th St. The new spot will bring fresh produce and other full-service grocery market foods to a part of the city where they’re in scarce supply, and serve a large number of existing Seward Co-op members who currently drive the store’s location on Franklin Ave and 29th Ave S.

According Sean Doyle, the co-op’s general manager, the relaunched Seward was projected to hit $20 million in annual revenue after five years of operation; the store actually topped $30 million in the fiscal year that ended this June. With more than 11,000 members, Doyle explained that the store’s location is becoming over-taxed, and the co-op wanted to “address growing demand for goods and services and on the store’s physical plant.”

The new site will be about an acre in size: “A lot of the costs are the same regardless of size,” says Doyle, “and if you really want to do a full-service facility, that’s what you need. We’re looking at a store about the size of what we have now, possibly a little smaller.”

The store is “probably 18-24 months” from opening, says Doyle. The early roll-out of the project concept and a process that’s accessible to public comment is deliberate, says Doyle. “We want to operate in a transparent way — it’s one of the core values of operating as a cooperative,” Doyle says.

Co-op members and community residents who want to weigh in on the new location are invited to a meeting at the Sabathani Community Center (310 E 38th St, Minneapolis) on July 9 at 6:30pm.

Insomnia Cookies (two locations open this fall)
Coming to Dinkytown and Mankato

The Pennsylvania-based Insomnia Cookies chain is coming to the state this autumn, bringing its college-campus focused business to Dinkytown and Mankato.

From the company’s press release:

“Insomnia Cookies was born out of the dislike of heavy meals late at night, love of food delivery, and the realization that by the time you get hungry at night, nothing is open. Insomnia Cookies offers fresh, delicious, oven baked cookies in an assortment of flavors. Cookies are delivered warm from the oven straight to the customer’s door until 3 a.m.!”

And based on this report from NYU, students can look forward to delicious cookies, secretive employees, and the occasional popularity-based cookie outage.

Fried Pickles at Town Hall Tap

Kate N.G. Sommers / Heavy Table

Town Hall Lanes (opens July 19)
5019 34th Ave S, Minneapolis

Town Hall Lanes, the newest venture from the Town Hall Brewery team, opens on Friday, July 19. The new spot will be a 10-lane bowling alley with full service, 130-seat restaurant and full craft beer bar.

NOW OPEN

CLOSED / CLOSING:

  • Peter’s Grill, 114 S 8th St Minneapolis
  • Buster’s on 28th, 4204 S 28th Ave, Minneapolis | temporary closure due to fire
  • Uchu, 4130 Berkshire Ln N, Plymouth, MN
  • Johnny Tequila’s Drinking Taco, 430 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis
  • Lucy’s, 3025 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Birdhouse, 2517 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Biella, 227 Water St, Excelsior, MN 55331
  • Franklin Freeze, 2328 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.568.2630; has re-opened as “Pita King”
  • Little Sushi on the Prairie, 8353 Crystal View Rd, Eden Prairie

COMING UP:

Minneapolis

St. Paul

Greater Twin Cities Area

  • Tin Bins, near the corner of Main and Nelson Streets, Commander Grain Elevator, Stillwater. May 2013.
  • Sakana Sushi and Hibachi, Plymouth. June.
  • Travail and The Rookery, Robbinsdale. Fall 2013.
  • Forever Yogurt, The Shops at West End, I-394 & 100. Opens before summer of 2013.
  • Hammerheart Brewing, 7785 Lake Dr, Lino Lakes. Opens in 2013. | 651.964.2160
  • Osaka Seafood and Steakhouse, Woodbury Lakes, Woodbury. Opens in 2013.
  • Punch Pizza, City Centre Dr, Woodbury. Opens 2013.
  • Crooked Pint Ale House, Apple Valley; another location possible at 40th St and Lyndale Ave.

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 editor@heavytable.com.

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James Norton

James Norton is editor and co-founder of the Heavy Table. He is also the co-author of Lake Superior Flavors, the co-author of a book about Wisconsin’s master cheesemakers, and a regular on-air contributor to Minnesota Public Radio.

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