Butcher and the Boar, Aida, Rocky and Shem’s, 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.

January’s winner: Suzy Vowels of Minneapolis

Butcher and the Boar (opens March 6)

1121 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.222.7171 | butcherandtheboar.com

Likely to be the most anticipated restaurant opening of early 2012, Butcher and the Boar is set to open March 6. The local media has been practically falling over itself describing chef / owner Jack Riebel’s neighborhood bar concept of house-made sausages, high-quality bar snacks, and tons of whiskey and beer.

It doesn’t hurt that the once drab mid-century building now excites passersby with its bright new mural painted all down the side, or that the area is hopping with the new-ish Bullfrog Cajun Bar, a forthcoming Lunds, and a sleek new MCTC building. Between all that and the well-established Eli’s and Espresso Royale, it’s quickly transforming into a nice little stretch of downtown eats.

And when you consider Riebel’s history (La Belle Vie, Dakota), his hiring of butcher Peter Botcher (Tilia, Barbette), and the fact there’s going to be a giant beer garden, The Tap has to admit he’s a little excited, too.

Butcher and the Boar will begin taking reservations March 1.

Aida (now open)

2208 W 66th St, Richfield | 612.866.5601 | aidamn.com

Transforming a scuzzy old Taco Bell into something a little more upscale, Aida has quietly opened its doors in Richfield. Serving Mediterranean staples like gyros, falafel, and hummus, and with nothing on the menu over $10 (except the multi-person Mediterranean Combo), Aida is adding an ethnic punch to the busy 66th and Penn area.

Ordering is simple and build-your-own: choose sandwich, salad, or dinner; pick a main filling like beef or chicken shawarma, lamb kabob, grilled vegetables, or falafel; then add toppings and sauces. There are also a few house specials and desserts like baklava, cannoli, and a cake called Egyptian basboosa. No beer and wine, however.

There’s quite a bit of construction at 66th and Penn thanks to a new CVS drugstore. But despite that behemoth’s arrival, there can’t be many corridors outside the inner cities that have such an eclectic mix of stores and restaurants. Aida for lunch, Sandy’s burgers for dinner, with trips to the Homestead Pickin’ Parlor, Hub Hobby, and Arc Value Village in between? There’s your Saturday.

Rocky and Shem’s Ice Cream Shoppe (shelved until late 2012 / early 2013)

56th St and Chicago Ave, Minneapolis

A dog-friendly ice cream parlor had been set to open this spring in South Minneapolis, next to Kowalski’s on Chicago Ave, but funding issues have pushed the project to 2013.

Rocky and Shem’s founder Jim Bozic’s vision is to sell Bridgeman’s ice cream in specialties like sundaes, waffle cones, and splits, as well as dog ice cream treats. His shop would be remain open year-round and convert to more of a coffee shop during the winter, although ice cream would still be available.

“We are going to revise our plans for October construction, and will target spring of next year as a grand opening date,” Bozic said. “Depending on how this process goes, we may in fact open up as a coffeehouse / ice cream shop later this year or early next.”

The location is across from Todd Park and will have outdoor seating for patrons as well as water and leash hookups for dogs.

“We live in the area and realized that there really isn’t anywhere to go when we walk our own pups,” Bozic said. “So this idea was born more as an incentive to give the neighborhood some sort of destination to walk to. And since I am a dog person, it’s only fitting to have amenities and treats for pups as well.”


  • Aida, 2208 W 66th St, Richfield | 612.866.5601 | aidamn.com
  • Uncle Moe’s Deli & Drafts, 1501 University Ave SE, Minneapolis | 612.886.2553 | unclemoesdeli.com
  • Lucio’s Grill, 433 S Robert St, St. Paul | 651.414.9060 | Find it on Facebook
  • Patron Mexican Restaurant, 207 N Chestnut St, Chaska
  • Dr. Chocolate’s Chocolate Chateau, 579 Selby Ave, St. Paul | 651.379.3676 | chocolatechateau.wordpress.com
  • The Dog House, Alliance Bank Skyway, St. Paul | Find it on Twitter
  • Tibet Kitchen, 1833 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Eat Street Social, 14 W 26th St, Minneapolis | 612.767.6850 | Find it on Facebook
  • Saigon, 704 University Ave W, St. Paul. Open again after remodeling. | 651.225.8751 | Find it on Facebook
  • Which Wich, 2073 Ford Pkwy, St. Paul | 651.328.8044 | whichwich.com
  • Turkey to Go, 101 7th St S, (Roanoke Building skyway), Minneapolis | 612.655.1795 |turkeytogo.com
  • Cintia’s of Mexico, 6042 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
  • Freestyle Yogurt, 500 Lexington Pkwy S, St. Paul | 651.699.1992 | Our take
  • The Hole Sports Lounge, 2501 University Ave SE, Minneapolis | 612.331.7474 | theholesportslounge.com
  • Eli’s East Food and Cocktails, 815 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.331.0031 | Find it on Facebook
  • The Oceanaire, 50 S Sixth St, Minneapolis | 612.333.2277 | theoceanaire.com
  • Yogurt Lab, 3104 Excelsior Blvd, Minneapolis | 612.926.8212 | Our take
  • Boom Island Brewing Company, 2207 N 2nd St, Minneapolis | 612.227.9635 | Our take
  • Zest Bar and Grill, 525 Diffley Rd, Eagan | 651.468.9053 | zesteagan.com
  • Colossal Cafe, 2315 Como Ave, St. Paul | colossalcafe.com
  • El Loro, 2535 W Highway 10, Mounds View | 763.780.4444 | elloromexican.com
  • Valley Tap House, 14889 Florence Tr, Apple Valley | 952.431.2337 | Find it on Facebook
Crystal Leipa / Heavy Table
  • West Bank Diner, 324 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.333.2211 | Our take


  • Roman Anthony’s, 1350 Minnesota County Rd 96, White Bear Lake
  • Vescio’s, 601 Marquette Ave S, Minneapolis | vescios.com
  • Smalley’s 87 Club, 100 6th St N, Minneapolis
  • La Fonda Mexican Eats, 433 S Robert St, St. Paul
  • Hot Diggity Dog, 614 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis
  • BZA India’s Kitchen, 2411 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
  • The Grand Sandwich, 1672 Grand Ave, St. Paul
  • Amici, 2851 Johnson St NE, Minneapolis
  • Q Kindness Cafe, 350 St Peter St, St. Paul
  • Prairie Ale House, 16396 Wagner Way, Eden Prairie


Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
  • :D-Spot, 1993 Burns Ave, St. Paul. Opens any day now. | Our take on the original
  • Butcher and the Boar, 1121 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens March 6. | 612.222.7171 | butcherandtheboar.com
  • Bullwinkle Saloon, 1429 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens March 17.
  • Tonkotsu Ramen and Curry House, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market). Opens March 30.
  • Sparks, 230 Cedar Lake Road S, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | 612.259.8943 | sparksmpls.com
  • Sweet Ducky Cupcakery, 117 W Churchill St #2, Stillwater. Opens this spring. | Find it on Facebook
  • Devil’s Advocate, 89 S 10th St, Minneapolis. Opens this spring.
  • Maruso Street Food and Cocktails, 715 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this spring.
  • George and the Dragon, 813 W 50th St, Minneapolis. Opens in April. | 612.355.9114 | ganddpub.com
  • Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis. Opens in April.
  • Ike’s, 17805 Hwy 7, Minnetonka. Opens in April. | ilikeikes.com
  • Rodizio Grill, 12197 Elm Creek Blvd N, Maple Grove. Opens in April. | rodiziogrill.com
  • Smokehouse Brewpub, 38th St and 28th Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in May. | smokehousebrewpub.com
  • Selma’s Ice Cream, 3419 Saint Croix Trl S, Afton. Opens in May.
  • Ze’s Diner, 3448 Denmark Ave, Eagan. Opens this spring
  • Masu Sushi & Robata, Mall of America. Opens this spring. | Our take on the original
  • Bar Louie, 1320 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | barlouieamerica.com
  • Birdhouse, 2516 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this spring.
  • Nadia Cakes, 11650 Fountains Dr, Suite 207, Maple Grove. Opens this spring. | nadiacakes.com
  • Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | thebdp.com
  • Mona, 333 S 7th St, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | Find it on Facebook
  • Rincon 38, 3801 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this spring.
  • Pizza Luce, 800 W 66th St, Richfield. Opens in June. | pizzaluce.com
  • Harriet, 2724 W 43rd St, Minneapolis
  • Indeed Brewing, 711 15th Ave NE Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.643.1226 | indeedbrewing.com
  • Cossetta’s, 211 7th St W, St. Paul. Existing market opening new rooftop restaurant; opens this summer. | 651.222.3476 | cossettaeventi.com
  • Blood and Chocolates, 495 Selby Ave, St. Paul. Opens in 2012. | 651.492.4799 | Find it on Facebook
  • Well Seasoned, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market)
  • Super Moon Buffet, 6445 Wayzata Blvd, St. Louis Park
  • 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
  • Hell’s Kitchen Bakery, 80 S 9th St, Minneapolis | hellskitcheninc.com
  • Alley Sports Tavern, 100 6th St N, Minneapolis
  • :D-Spot, Dinkytown, Minneapolis | Our take on the original
  • Burger Night, Minneapolis. Still looking for location. | 612.217.0102 | burgernight.me
  • Pistol Pete’s BBQ, 222 N Chestnut St, Chaska
  • Wellman’s Pub, 26 5th St N, Minneapolis | wellmanspubandrooftop.com
  • Humble Pie, 822 W 36th St, Minneapolis. Kim Bartmann’s revamp of Gigi’s. | 612.825.0818
  • Rocky and Shem’s Ice Cream Shoppe, 56th St and Chicago Ave, Minneapolis. Opens late 2012 / early 2013.

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.


  1. Pete

    I’ve read that Blood and Chocolate is in limbo…anyone? Also has anyone else heard anything about Tonkotsu Ramen and Curry? I’ve been to the Midtown Global just the other day and it still looks exactly the same except for a small posting stating new food establishments opening in March/April in the La Sirena Gorda and Lutong spaces. If Tonkotsu is opening on the 30th where are they setting up? I also heard about a new Japanese spot called Hajime in Blaine.

  2. Jason Walker

    I talked to the Midtown Global Market today and Tonkotsu is not happening, at least there are no plans as of now for it at MGM. I had been in contact with the owner and he told me he was opening there; I wrote back for some clarification and haven’t heard a response. So, he may have gotten a little ahead of himself, but hopefully it works out for everybody in the end.
    B&C is definitely in limbo, but I am acquainted with the owner and she’ll keep me posted on any developments.
    Thanks for the Hajime tip!

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