A New Diner on East Lake, Hops for Hunger, and More

Banner for the Tap: Food and Drink News

This week in the Tap: Signs of life at the former East Lake Street Taco Bell and a craft beer fundraiser.

shepherd-song-tap-logo-final-keylineThe Tap is a biweekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm. “We raise 100 percent grass-fed lambs & goats traditionally, humanely, and sustainably.”


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.

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

Diner Project in East Lake Street Taco Bell Building (launching late summer to early autumn 2015)
4020 East Lake St, Minneapolis

New life is stirring at the long-vacant Taco Bell building at 4020 East Lake Street (memorably chronicled by writer Andy Sturdevant in his Field Guide to Vacant Storefronts on East Lake Street column). Brownsmith Restoration, the developer behind the Forage / Parka project that sits across the street, will be transforming the location into a diner. Demolition is well under way (see above).

An email from the Longfellow Community Council to a resident described the project as follows:

“Brownsmith Restoration ( Forage Modern / Parka / Dogwood developers ) is moving in an old diner they had hauled in from the east coast called Hi-Lo Diner. Summer / Fall opening planned.”

Brownsmith, for its part, doesn’t yet want to divulge the full details of the project, saying that the overall plan remains fluid. Partner Michael Smith wrote to us: “Yes, we bought the old Taco Bell, yes we bought a vintage diner and plan to bring it to the TB location. Everything else is still up in the air …”

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Hops for Hunger III (Fundraiser on March 28 from 5-8 p.m. at the Solar Arts Building)

The Southern Anoka Community Assistance Food Shelf is hosting a craft beer fundraiser called Hops for Hunger III on Saturday, March 28 from 5-8 p.m. The event takes place at the Solar Arts Building at 711 15th Ave NE in Minneapolis.

As per the press release about the event:

“Featuring beer from 16 local craft brewers, a silent auction, music by The Brandon Projekt and Ash St John & the Family Groove and food from Chowgirls Killer Catering. Meghan Larsen, a certified cicerone will also be there. Boom Island, Indeed, Barley John’s, Lucid, Sociable Cider, 612, Northgate, Excelsior, Bad Weather, HammerHeart, Insight, Fair State, Dangerous Man, Bent Brewstillery, Bauhaus and Tin Whiskers will be pouring. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at www.hopsforhunger3.eventbrite.com.”


Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Daniel Murphy / Heavy Table
Daniel Murphy / Heavy Table


  • Curry ‘n’ Noodles | Our review
  • Modern Cafe
  • Taste of Thailand
  • Twisted Fork | Our review
  • Spill the Wine
  • Tryg’s
  • Wuollet Bakery, Hennepin Ave location
  • Pracna on Main
  • Solera
  • Nye’s Polanaise Room (closing 2015)



  • Cafe Racer, 2929 E 25th Street, Minneapolis | March 2015
  • La Ceiba Bistro, 3500 Bloomington Ave. S, Minneapolis | 2015
  • Hi-Lo Diner (working name), 4020 East Lake St, Minneapolis | Summer or Autumn of 2015
  • Tattersall Distilling | Summer 2015
  • St. Genevieve, 5003 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis | Mid-2015
  • Il Foro, City Center, Minneapolis | June 2015
  • Nighthawks, 3753 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | End of April 2015
  • Seward Co-op Friendship Store, 317 38th St E | Summer 2015
  • Erick Harcey project TBD, 4312 Upton Ave, Minneapolis | Feb. 2015
  • 56 Brewing, 3134 California St NE, Minneapolis | Spring 2015
  • Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, East Lake St, Minneapolis | Fall 2015
  • Lost Falls Distillery, 1915 E 22nd St, Minneapolis | Early 2015
  • Bradstreet Neighborhood Crafthouse, 1930 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | Early 2015
  • The Herbivorous Butcher, Minneapolis | 2015
  • Pizzeria Lola concept TBD, 165 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis | 2015
  • Corner Table project: Revival mid-South / fried chicken restaurant | Early Summer 2015
  • The Bachelor Farmer Cafe Project To Be Named, 200 N 1st St, Minneapolis | 2015

St. Paul

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
  • 11 Wells Millwright Cocktail Room, Historic Hamm Building, St. Paul | Spring 2015
  • Lexington (new ownership), 1096 Grand Ave, St. Paul | Spring 2015
  • Saint Dinette, 280 E 5th St, St. Paul | Early 2015

Greater Twin Cities Area and Beyond

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.