The Tap loves restaurant tips from readers, so we’re awarding two Heavy Table pint glasses 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
May’s winner: Pete Ryan of Minneapolis.
Element Pizza (coming soon)
96 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis | 612.379.3028
Veteran restaurateurs Ismail and Sue Karagoez are opening their latest in the neighborhood where they’ve lived for decades: Northeast Minneapolis. Element Pizza will feature wood-fired pizzas, salads, and appetizers that the Karagoezs hope will add yet another neighborhood gathering place to the already-buzzing area.
“We’ve got a special oven, a regular wood-fired oven. We kind of specialized it even further,” Sue Karagoez said. “My husband is Turkish, and they’ve been working with wood-fired ovens for the past couple thousand years, so he kind of tailored it to be similar to a Turkish oven and did some special things to it. One thing that differentiates us from some of the others is that our pizzas won’t burn, like some of the other wood-fired places.”
The couple recently sold its previous restaurant, Istanbul Bistro in Minnetonka, to focus on Element and return closer to home. Element will have beer and wine and a patio, and will attempt to focus on seasonal and, Karagoez said, hopefully local ingredients.
“My husband has been in the business for 40 years, so he knows what he’s doing,” Karagoez said. “We’ll have eggplant and arugula pizzas, gorgonzola cheese, some other varieties of cheeses, but he’ll be bringing on some different types too after we open. We may have a monthly or weekly special to keep it interesting and kind of seasonal. Maybe a squash pizza.
“With my husband being European, they eat fresh foods. Fresh foods is their thing. More without hormones. That’s the way Europeans are. They don’t like the drop-it-in-the-deep-fryer thing from out of the freezer. They’re very picky about that type of thing.”
Karagoez said she hoped Element Pizza would open in the next few weeks.
Bayport BBQ (now open)
328 5th Ave N, Bayport | 651.955.6337 | bayportbbq.com
After two decades in the financial world, Hudson, WI., resident Chris Johnson left to found the Deep Blues Festival in Minneapolis, billed as “the world’s only alternative and outsider blues festival.” It wasn’t proving sustainable, but Johnson also had a background in cooking, so he bought the former Bayport Cookery and recently opened Bayport BBQ. The restaurant focuses on two things: blues and Texas-style pit barbecue.
“I’ve always loved to cook and eat,” Johnson said. “I have friends around Austin, Texas, and as I’ve traveled there, I thought the style of barbecue would be a unique thing to bring to Minnesota.”
Bayport BBQ serves traditional Texas-style barbecue meats and side dishes. But Johnson said due to his background working in several bakeries, he does not serve the traditional Wonder bread like most barbecues in the south. Rather, he bakes bread fresh daily, and said locals were coming in regularly just to take home a loaf.
But the meat is the real star, and Johnson said Texas-style barbecue is dry-rubbed and smoked, not slathered with sauce.
“Beef brisket and sausage are the emphasized meats, but chicken, turkey, pork ribs, etc. are also commonly found,” he said. “The sauce is vinegar-based and peppery, and served on the side. Walking into a Texas barbecue, smoke is what it’s all about. Many barbecues have the customers ordering right at the pit, and meat is carved right there and served on butcher paper.”
Bayport BBQ opens at 11 a.m. daily.
Chilkoot Cafe & Cyclery (opening soon)
826 4th St S, Stillwater | 651.342.1048
Local chef Michael Moore, who has worked at Loring Cafe, Auriga, and Anodyne Coffeehouse, is helming the kitchen at the soon-to-open Chilkoot Cafe & Cyclery, a combination bike shop / restaurant named for an infamously steep Stillwater hill.
Moore said Chilkoot would be a casual, counter-service cafe that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as pastries, house-roasted coffee, wine, and craft beer. The cafe is also committed to local products from the likes of Thousand Hills Cattle Co., Hidden Stream Farm pork and Crystal Ball Farms dairy.
“Great food starts at the farm,” Moore said. “In our kitchen, we’ll create simple, flavorful, everyday food. Soups, salads, sandwiches, and a great breakfast. Dinners will be featured specials.”
The adjacent cyclery will be a retail store and repair shop, and the whole shebang is on the same corner as another cafe / bike shop, The Bikery.
Moore said Chilkoot Cafe should be set to open this weekend.
The Inn (now closed)
89 S 10th St, Minneapolis | Our take
The Inn, which last November took over for the short-lived Subo in the historic building that for years housed Hell’s Kitchen, has closed. The food from chef Tyge Nelson, who had worked at Solera and La Belle Vie, had earned solid reviews for dishes like crispy potato dumplings, pickled herring and a slow-poached chicken.
- Mill Valley Kitchen, 3900 Excelsior Blvd, St. Louis Park | 952.358.2000 | Find it on Facebook
- Gather, 1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.253.3410 | walkerart.org/gather
- Turtle Bread, 4205 E 34th St, Minneapolis. | turtlebread.com
- Wise Acre Eatery, 5401 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.822.4769 | wiseacreeatery.com
- Blue Point, 4400 W 78th St, Bloomington | 952.767.9711 | bluepointrestaurantandbar.com
- Las Tortillas Mexican Restaurant, 15051 Crestone Ave, Rosemount | 651.332.2200 | lastortillas.net
- Republic, 221 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.338.6146 | republicmn.com
- Bread & Pickle, 4135 W Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis | 612.767.9009 | breadandpickle.com
- Crave, 825 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.332.1133 | craveamerica.com
- Las Teresita’s Mexican Grill, 5748 34th Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.727.1791
- Candy Alley, 4813 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.354.3881 | candyalley.com
- The Nook, 492 Hamline Ave S, St. Paul (reopen again after fire) | 651.698.4347 | Our take
- The Lowry Cafe, 2207 Lowry Ave N, Minneapolis | 612.284.7087 | Find it on Facebook
- Bullfrog Cajun Bar, 1111 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.339.0638 | Find it on Facebook
- Wuollet Bakery, 200 S 6th St (U.S. Bank Plaza skyway), Minneapolis | www.wuollet.com
- Morgan’s New World Tavern, 14201 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville | 952.435.2100 | Find it on Facebook
- Soul Daddy, Mall of America, Bloomington | 952.854.1900 | souldaddyrestaurant.com
- Burger Jones, 1617 Cty Road 42, Burnsville | 952.885.2289 | burgerjones.com
- ALM Corner Cafe, 3301 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis | 612.781.3526 | Find it on Facebook
- Pacific Islander Cuisine, 920 E Lake St #114, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market) | 612.874.0944 | Find it on Facebook
- Pizza Ranch, 16995 Kenyon Ave, Lakeville | 952.898.3333 | pizzaranch.com
- Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, 3090 Courthouse Ln, Suite 100, Eagan; 14165 James Rd, Rogers; 3195 Vicksburg Ln, Plymouth | www.dickeys.com
- 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 | Find it on Facebook
- Current, 3291 St. Croix Trail S, Afton | 651.436.8883 | currentrestaurant.com
- GreenSpoon, 2600 University Ave SE, Minneapolis | 612.208.0529 | greenspooncafe.com
- 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 5th Ave NW, New Brighton | 651.633.2226
- Victory 44 Coffee Bar & Provisions, 2201 44th Ave N, Minneapolis | 612.287.8399 | victory-44.com
CLOSED / CLOSING:
- Sunnyside Up Cafe, 2702 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
- Cloggy’s Tavern, 5404 34th Ave S, Minneapolis
- Pizza Mafia, 2447 W 7th St, St. Paul
- River Chocolate Company, 2822 W 43rd St, Minneapolis
- Buon Giorno Express, 335 University Ave E, St. Paul
- North Washington Cafe, 700 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis
- Forum, 40 S 7th St, Minneapolis
- Bread, Coffee & Cake, 385 S Wabasha St, St. Paul | breadcoffeecake.com
- Kinsen, 1300 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis. Opens June 13.
- Maeve’s Cafe, 300 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis. Opens June 20. | 612.379.1033 | Find it on Facebook
- Element Pizza, 96 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis. Opens this month. | 612.379.3028
- Pat’s Tap, 3510 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this month. | 612.822.8216 | patstap.com
- Blue Ox Coffee Company, 3740 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in late June. | 612.825.6650 | Find it on Facebook
- Palumbo’s Pizzeria, 454 Snelling Ave S, St Paul. Opening this summer. | Find it on Facebook
- Ansari’s Mediterranean Grill, 1960 Rahn Cliff Ct, Eagan. Set to re-open later this month. | 651.452.0999 | ansarisgrill.com
- Andale Taqueria y Mercado, 7700 Nicollet Ave S, Richfield. Opens in July.
- Adagio Cafe, 5001 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | Find it on Facebook
- Little Szechuan, 5377 16th St, Shops at West End, St. Louis Park | littleszechuan.com
- Brasa Viva Brazil, 913 W Lake St, Minneapolis
- Fasika, University and Dale, St. Paul (new Frogtown Square) | fasika.com
- Claddagh Coffee, 458 W 7th, St. Paul. Opens in July. | 612.940.9805 | Find it on Facebook
- The Lowry, 2112 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in July. | blueplaterestaurantcompany.com
- Muddy Waters Bar and Eatery, 2933 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this summer.
- Urban Bean, 2401 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | urbanbeancoffee.com
- Humble Pie, 822 W 36th St, Minneapolis. Kim Bartmann’s revamp of Gigi’s. Coming this summer. | 612.825.0818
- Rosa Mexicano, 6th St and Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis (in City Center next to Fogo de Chao). Opens this summer. | rosamexicano.com
- Chilango Cantina, 212 E 7th St, St. Paul. Opens this summer.
- Zen Box Izakaya, 225 Portland Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in August. | zen-box.com
- Pig & Fiddle, 3808 W 50th St, Minneapolis. Opens this summer.
- Eat Street Social, 26th St and Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this summer.
- The Bachelor Farmer, 200 First St N, Minneapolis
- Cranky’s Bicycle Bar, E Lake St, Minneapolis. | Find it on Facebook
- 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
- Mojo Monkey Doughnuts, 7th St W, St. Paul
- Crooked Pint Ale House, 501 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis
- Still-unnamed deli, 1930 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis (former Auriga). Opens in September.
- 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 email@example.com. Follow The Tap on Twitter at @jasonwalkermpls.