Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub, Little Tijuana, Tawakal Restaurant, and more

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Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub (opens next week)

2724 E 38th St, Minneapolis | 612.328.1450

Ready for some fresh beer with your smoked meat and fish? Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub is set to open next week with six taps from Town Hall alum Jamie Robinson, a menu of sandwiches and plates from chef Bryce Strickler, and an all-around laid-back, neighborhood vibe.

The beers will include four regulars: the Big Jim IPA, Smokehouse Porter, Light Rail Pale Ale, and a honey wheat. Then there will be two initial seasonal beers: an American pale ale made entirely with Columbus hops, and a wild rice amber.

Couple those with a developing menu of sandwiches and small plates using Strickler’s smoked meats and fish, and it’s sounding pretty darn promising.

“Bryce has been testing some recipes. We got some samples from good suppliers, so he’s been testing out the smokers,” Robinson said. “He’s really happy with them, and then the food that’s been coming out is just amazing. He smoked a few turkeys just to get the smoke right, and he smoked some beef loins; those were incredible and will be for our roast beef sandwich.”

As often happens, Robinson and his co-owners, Strickler and Amy Robinson, have hit some snags, as the crew had originally hoped to open earlier this summer. Plus, the brewpub has had quite a buzz around it since its Kickstarter drive raised 75 investors who each paid $1,000 to get free beer for life.

“It feels really good to be brewing,” Robinson said. “That was what this was all about for me, was to get in here and start brewing, and now I’m really happy with my system because the beers are turning out fantastic.

“It’s actually really surreal. We’ve had so many ups and downs, like many restaurant owners opening from the ground up. I’m guessing it’s common to feel like it all could fall apart, and there were times we felt like that, but we believed in it and knew that we had to just keep pushing forward.”

And yes, along the way Robinson has heard from those 75 eager, interested investors.

“I would say 80-90 percent of investors live here in the neighborhood within walking or biking distance,” he said. “So those are the people who, when I’m brewing beer in here and it’s hot and I open the door, they’re peeking their heads in to ask about when will we open, how’s it all going, what are we brewing.”

Can’t wait to try the beer? Northbound will debut its Big Jim IPA and the wild rice amber at the Autumn Brew Review on Sept. 15. Once it clears inspections, Northbound Smokehouse will be open from 11 am-1 am Sunday-Thursday and 11am-2 am Friday-Saturday. Growler sales should begin a couple weeks after opening.

Little Tijuana (now open)

17 E 26th St, Minneapolis | 612.872.0578

Open again after a long remodeling hiatus, Little Tijuana is likely busy tonight. The decades-old late-night Mexican joint just spent months detailing its ongoing progress to a rabid Facebook following, which no doubt is enjoying the return of its Ameri-Mexican standards, burgers, and sandwiches and, this time, a full bar.

The place is still small, and the vibe is still relaxed, so Little T’s is probably just like you remember it, albeit “only” open until 2am.

Tawakal Restaurant (opens Sept. 21)

12609 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville | 952.500.8954

Serving East African cuisine, Tawakal Restaurant probably has Burnsville chowhounds excited for its Sept. 21 opening in the former Taqueria Hidalgo off Burnsville Parkway. Also exciting is that from noon to 3pm on opening day, Tawakal is giving free lunch to all customers — for dine-in or even takeout. So, if you’re looking for an excuse to hit up the Lakeville Fleet Farm, why not go Sept. 21 and get some free African food on the way?


  • The Kenwood, 2115 W 21st St, Minneapolis | 612.377.3695
  • Cafe Maude at Loring, 1612 Harmon Pl, Minneapolis | 612.767.9080
  • Murray’s, 26 S 6th St, Minneapolis. Open again after remodel. | 612.339.0909
  • Little Tijuana, 17 E 26th St, Minneapolis | 612.872.0578
  • Eat Shop Kitchen / Bar, 16605 County Rd 24, Plymouth | 763.270.5929
  • Yogurt Lab, 80 8th St S, Minneapolis (IDS Center skyway) | 612.886.3084
  • Copper Pot Indian Grill, 10 S 5th St, Minneapolis | 612.331.6677
  • Glory Days. 500 5th Ave NW, New Brighton. Revamped sports bar from :D-Spot owner. | 651.633.2226
  • Five Guys, 2300 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.224.9161
Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table



  • Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub, 2724 E 38th St, Minneapolis. Opens next week. | 612.328.1450
  • The Gray House, 610 W Lake St, Minneapolis. Opens in September.
  • Nightingale, 2551 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in September.
  • Bar Louie, 1348 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis. Opens in September.
  • Northgate Brewing, 3134 California St NE, Minneapolis. Opens for growler sales in October. | 612.234.1056
  • Sabbai Cuisine, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market) | 952.233.5662
  • Well Seasoned, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market) | 612.886.2489
  • Azia Market Bar & Restaurant, 2550 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.813.1200
  • Smack Shack, Washington Ave N and 6th Ave N, Minneapolis.
  • The Belmore, 25 4th St N, Minneapolis. Opens this fall.
  • Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this fall.
  • Republic, 3001 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens late fall.
  • The Lynn on Bryant, 50th St and Bryant Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this fall.
  • New Bohemia, 233 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Tangiers Eatery and Lounge, 116 First Ave N, Minneapolis.
  • Dangerous Man Brewing, 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis | 612.209.2626
  • The Original Just Turkey Restaurant, 3758 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Yogurt Lab, 5007 France Ave S, Minneapolis; 309 SE Oak St, Minneapolis
  • Rincon 38, 3801 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.408.7063
  • Fitger’s Brewhouse, 107 3rd Ave N, Minneapolis. Opens late 2012.
  • Burch, 1942 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Isaac Becker’s planned steakhouse in old Burch Pharmacy; opens in late 2012 / early 2013.
  • World Street Kitchen, 2743 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens late 2012.
  • 612 Brew taproom, 945 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis. Opens late 2012.
  • Union, 733 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens in November.
  • Origami, 1352 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis. Moving from Minnetonka location; opens Dec. 1.
  • Unnamed Kim Bartmann restaurant, 1014 E 38th St, Minneapolis
  • Mill City Cafe, NE Minneapolis. Still searching for new location.
  • Rocky and Shem’s Ice Cream Shoppe, 56th St and Chicago Ave, Minneapolis. Opens late 2012 / early 2013.
  • Sandcastle, Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis. Doug Flicker’s concessionaire restaurant at the lake. Opens spring 2013.

St. Paul

  • Summit Brewing Taproom, 910 Montreal Cir, St. Paul. Opens late September. | 651.265.7800
  • Louis, 211 7th St W, St. Paul. Cossetta’s market opening new rooftop restaurant; opens in mid-October. | 651.222.3476
  • French Hen, 518 Selby Ave, St. Paul. Opens this fall.
  • Bullpen Saloon, 395 Robert St N, St. Paul. Opens this fall. | 651.335.7503
  • Sakana Sushi & Asian Bistro, 740 Cleveland Ave S, St. Paul

Greater Twin Cities Area

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 Heavy Table writer Jason Walker. If you have tips for The Tap, please email Jason at


  1. Moe

    I’m really looking forward to Northbound, but odd that they don’t really mention the food at all on their website.

  2. Dave

    Looks like :D-Spot is no longer planning a Dinkytown location as previously reported.

    It would be super cool if you added a section of plans that had been scrapped or redirected (another example would be Blue Door Pub scrapping the 26th/Nicollet location in favor of East Lake).

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