Victory 44 Coffee Bar & Provisions, Little Szechuan and Shops at West End, and more

Victory 44 Coffee Bar & Provisions (now open)

2201 44th Ave N, Minneapolis | 612.287.8399 | victory-44.com/coffee

Victory 44 Coffee Bar & Provisions is not up and running in its envisioned form — there’s still a renovation planned — but it is open, serving coffee and espresso as well as a menu of baked goods from chef Erick Harcey’s kitchen in next door’s gastropub.

Harcey said the “provisions” part will kick into high gear this summer with items for sale that his kitchen produces, like homemade pickles, as well as a community-supported kitchen model where folks may buy semi-prepared food shares — meat, fresh produce, eggs, milk, etc. — to take home and cook.

“We’re going to kind of play off what Scott’s doing at Corner Table,” Harcey said of chef Scott Pampuch, who has launched the same concept from his South Minneapolis restaurant. “We’re going to put meals together with fresh produce, eggs, Autumnwood milk. It’s going to have more prepared meals, and I’m hoping that I can have something, as I design the week, that one meal will spin off into more meals like a roast chicken into chicken salad or chicken soup.”

Harcey said the groceries for sale would be supplemental — high-quality, potentially hard-to-find items to round out a pantry. “We’ll carry a little more of the higher-end stuff,” he said. “We really want to work our way into it with the neighborhood. We’ll have a nice assortment of cheeses and charcuterie. Things like dried pasta to sardines, canned octopus, things that are kind of more fun items to play with — to make a fun pasta for a date night.”

Coffee is not forgotten in all this, though. Harcey said his baristas would create a menu of unique, forceful espresso drinks. Dogwood Coffee will provide the beans.

“We’re going to have more of a bartender feel, and we’re also going to offer wine and beer over there as well,” Harcey said. “You go to Victory and you chow down, but after that you want to to go there and have wine, espresso, or dessert.”

Little Szechuan and others (coming soon)

Shops at West End, St. Louis Park | theshopsatwestend.com

Four restaurants have been planned for months now at the Shops at West End, and only one is close to opening: Little Szechuan. The second location of the popular St. Paul eatery should open next month, according to Michael Landstad, senior property manager for the Shops.

However, construction has yet to begin on the others: Huey’s 24 / 7 Diner, La Crepe Nanou, and The Wine Loft. Landstad predicted a “summer or fall” opening for the three, all owned by the Doyle Restaurant Group from Louisiana.

“The Huey’s concept, from what I know, is it’s that very thing, a 24-hour diner with kind of a southern influence to it,” Landstad said. “La Crepe Nanou and The Wine Loft — the two concepts are sharing one space, it’s about 8,000 square feet. La Crepe Nanou is crepes and kind of a French bistro-type place. I’m anxious to see it. The Wine Loft is specializing in wines and simple sandwiches and cheeses.”

Little Szechuan is a known local commodity, though, and Landstad said its opening gave the district yet another culinary treat.

“That’s one thing we did not have: Asian,” he said. “So now with Sopranos we’ve added Italian, and now Little Szechuan, and Mexican with Rojo, and pub fare at Cooper … Crave obviously has anything from sushi to flatbread pizzas, so we pretty much have the whole gamut covered.”

Forum (now closed)

40 S 7th St, Minneapolis

The second Jim Ringo restaurant has bitten the dust, as Forum closed last week. Forum, in the swanky Art Deco gem oddly reconstructed in Minneapolis’ soul-crushing City Center, lasted about a year. That, however, was longer than Ringo, the “destination menu” restaurant in St. Louis Park that closed after a few months and is now Sopranos Italian Kitchen. Jim Ringo had bold ideas and should be lauded for trying to revive the Forum space, but his “comfort food and classic dishes from days gone by” concept simply fell flat.

NOW OPEN

  • Masu Sushi & Robata, 330 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.332.6278 | Our take
  • Goda Cafe, 3400 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.823.3535
  • Modern Times Cafe, 3200 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.886.3882
  • Current, 3291 St. Croix Trail S, Afton | 651.436.8883 | currentrestaurant.com
  • Green Spoon, 2600 University Ave SE, Minneapolis | 612.208.0529 | Find it on Facebook
  • Rachel’s, 222 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.379.3345
  • The Nicollet, 1931 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.424.5513 | the-nicollet.com
  • Glory Days Bar and Grill, 500 Fifth Ave NW, New Brighton | 651.633.2226
  • Tin Fish, 3000 Calhoun Pkwy E, Minneapolis | 612.823.5840 | http://www.thetinfish.net/LC-MN/index.htm
  • Victory 44 Coffee Bar & Provisions, 2201 44th Ave N, Minneapolis | 612.287.8399 | victory-44.com
  • Rusty Taco, Lexington Pkwy, St. Paul | 612.916.2244 | rustytacomn.com
  • Sea Salt, 4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis |  612.721.8990 | www.seasalteatery.wordpress.com
  • Bull Run Roasting Co., 3346 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.545.5972 | bullrunroasting.com
  • Chilly Billy’s, 314 15th Ave SE, Minneapolis | 612.843.4278 | chillybillysfrozenyogurt.com
  • Shanghai Bistro, 324 Main St S, Stillwater | 651.430.9000 | Find it on Facebook
  • Patriots Tavern, 145 New England Pl, Stillwater | Find it on Facebook
  • First National Green Room, 215 S Main St, Stillwater | 651.342.0215 | Find it on Facebook

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

  • Sopranos Italian Kitchen, 5331 W 16th St, St. Louis Park | Our take
  • American Burger Bar, 800 LaSalle Place (8th St and Hennepin Ave), Minneapolis | americanburgerbar.com
  • Pizza Ranch, 1220 Highway 25 S Suite 104, Monticello | 320.250.8095 | pizzaranch.com
  • Sun Street Breads, 4600 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.747.4699 | Our take
  • Tilia, 2726 W 43rd St, Minneapolis | 612.354.2806 | Our take
  • Indochin, 1702 Grand Ave, St. Paul | 651.690.2728
  • Wally’s Roast Beef, 8120 Penn Ave S, Bloomington | 952.884.4349 | Our take
  • Black Sheep Pizza, 512 N Robert St, St. Paul | 651.227.4337 | blacksheeppizza.com
  • Cowboy Jack’s, 2801 Southtown Dr, Bloomington | 952.955.8137 | theaftermidnightgroup.com
  • Jake & Elwood’s BBQ, 2016 First Ave, Anoka | 763.421.7700 | Find it on Facebook
  • Pow Wow Grounds Coffee, 1414 E Franklin Ave (in All My Relations Art Gallery), Minneapolis | 612.545.5598 | Find it on Facebook
  • Crown Coffee, 3445 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis
Truffles at River Chocolate

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

CLOSED / CLOSING:

  • North Washington Cafe, 700 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis
  • Forum, 40 S 7th St, Minneapolis
  • Bread, Coffee & Cake, 385 South Wabasha St, St. Paul. Closed temporarily because of rockslide. | breadcoffeecake.com
  • Stabby’s Cafe, 4159 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Steamworks Coffee & Tea, 2201 44th Ave N, Minneapolis
  • Panchero’s Mexican Grill, 600 Hennepin Ave (Block E), Minneapolis | pancheros.com
  • Porky’s, 1890 University Ave W, St. Paul
  • A&W, 3006 Rice St, Roseville
  • Bullwinkles, 1429 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Cars-R-Coffins, 3346 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Kozy’s, 3220 Galleria, Edina
  • Tillie’s Bean, 2803 E 38th St, Minneapolis
  • Dragonfly Coffee, 5001 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Willie D’s Southern Style, 3801 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Le CrazyTaste Bakery, 1316 SE 4th St, Minneapolis
  • Applebees, 600 Hennepin Ave (Block E), Minneapolis
  • Rosen’s Bar & Grill / The Refuge Bar & Grill, 430 First Ave N, Minneapolis
  • The Tea Garden, 101 E 5th St, St. Paul | teagardeninc.com
  • Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, 772 Bielenberg Dr, Woodbury
  • Ansari’s Mediterranean Grill, 1960 Rahn Cliff Ct, Eagan. Closed temporarily due to fire. | 651.452.0999 | ansarisgrill.com

COMING UP:

Jason Walker / Heavy Table

  • Wuollet Bakery, 200 S 6th St (U.S. Bank Plaza skyway), Minneapolis. Opens April 27. | wuollet.com
  • Bread & Pickle, 4135 W Lake Harriet Pkwy (at bandshell), Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | breadandpickle.com
  • Brasa Viva Brazil, 913 W Lake St, Minneapolis. Opens this spring.
  • The Lowry Cafe, 2207 Lowry Ave N, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | 612.284.7087 | Find it on Facebook
  • Humble Pie, 822 W 36th St., Minneapolis. Kim Bartmann’s revamp of Gigi’s. Coming this spring. | 612.825.0818
  • Bullfrog Cajun Bar, 1111 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | 612.339.0638 | Find it on Facebook
  • Turtle Bread, 4205 E 34th St, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | turtlebread.com
  • Chilango Cantina, 212 E 7th St, St. Paul. Opens this spring.
  • Pizza Ranch, 16995 Kenyon Ave, Lakeville. Opens early May. | 952.898.3333 | pizzaranch.com
  • Gather, 1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens in May.
  • Pat’s Tap, 3510 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | 612.822.8216 | patstap.com
  • Crave, 825 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis (former Palomino). Opens this spring | craveamerica.com
  • Blue Point, 4400 78th St, Bloomington. Opens this spring.
  • Las Tortillas Mexican Restaurant, 15051 Crestone Ave, Rosemount. Opens this spring. |  lastortillas.net
  • Adagio Cafe, 5001 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens May 1. | Find it on Facebook
  • Burger Jones, 1617 County Road 42, Burnsville. Opens May 9. | burgerjones.com
  • Wise Acre Eatery, 5401 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis (in former Liberty Frozen Custard). Opens in May. | tangletowngardens.com
  • Little Szechuan, 5377 16th St, Shops at West End, St. Louis Park. Opens in May. | littleszechuan.com
  • Maeve’s Cafe, 300 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis. Opens spring 2011. | 612.379.1033 | maeves.com
  • Blue Ox Coffee Company, 3740 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in June. | 612.220.7253 |  Find it on Facebook
  • The Lowry, 2112 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in July. | blueplaterestaurantcompany.com
  • Rosa Mexicano, 6th and Hennepin, Minneapolis (in City Center next to Fogo de Chao). Opens this summer. | rosamexicano.com
  • Zen Box Izakaya, 225 Portland Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in August. | zen-box.com
  • Pig & Fiddle, 3808 W 50th St, Minneapolis. Opens this summer.
  • Mill Valley Kitchen, 3900 Excelsior Blvd, St. Louis Park. Opens this summer.
  • Eat Street Social, 26th St and Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this summer.
  • Cranky’s Bicycle Bar, E Lake St, Minneapolis. | crankysbicyclebar.com
  • La Crepe Nanou, Huey’s 24 / 7 Diner, The Wine Loft, Shops at West End, St. Louis Park. Opening this fall. | lacrepenanou.com | hueys247diner.com | thewineloft.net
  • Pittsburgh Blue, 3200 Galleria (former Kozy’s), Edina. Opens this fall. |pittsburghbluesteak.com
  • Mi Sinaloa, 3801 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Blue Door Pub, 26th St and Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis | thebdp.com
  • Five Guys, 230 7th St, St. Paul | fiveguys.com
  • YO!Sushi | Company says five metro locations coming, first in Minneapolis in 2011 | yosushi.com

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. Follow The Tap on Twitter at @jasonwalkermpls.

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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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5 Comments

  1. Lisa 04/26/2011

    Buon Giorno Express on University in St. Paul is closing it’s doors this Saturday, the 30th, for good. I just happened to stop in this past weekend and it was sad. Kitchen items and wine are 50% off. I loved their sandwiches. A quick and tasty place to get lasagna that reminds you of your gramdma’s house is no more.

  2. Hey Erick – Nice work buddy. It was great talking to you a while ago and I look forward to seeing as your shop develops. When are you going to have your menu up for the boxes? Here are mine for the next couple of weeks: http://www.cornertablerestaurant.com and then click on the Blog. Talk to you soon. Scott.

  3. Ahh, another Little Szechuan. Interesting.

    It sad closing news…I drove by my beloved Helados y Paletas La Chiquita over the weekend only it’s not there anymore! I’m hoping they’ve moved instead of closed. Any word on this?

  4. Author
    Jason Walker 05/03/2011

    Sharyn, I called Helados y Paletas La Chiquita and the phone has been disconnected. Not a good sign. I’ll keep sniffing around.