Sweets Bakeshop in Limbo, Travail Transforms, Roat Osha Returns

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The Tap loves restaurant tips from readers, so we’re awarding two tickets to our May 11 North Coast Nosh at the American Swedish Institute to the best tipster of March and April. 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.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Sweets Bakeshop (gone dark)
4747 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis; 2042 Marshall Ave, St. Paul | 612.208-0672; 651.340.7138

Has Sweets Bakeshop become a casualty of the cupcake wars?

The last few years have been tumultuous for the well-regarded cupcake and macaroon powerhouse that is the St. Paul-based Sweets Bakeshop, winner of various local “best ofs” and acclaimed by Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl as “a must-visit site for hostess gifts, especially because of the macarons, which rival Ladurée’s in Paris.”

Since the start of 2011, founding partner Krista Steinbach left the company, resurfacing at a position at The Bachelor Farmer; the company opened a second location in Minneapolis on Nicollet Avenue and opened (and then closed) a kiosk at Rosedale Center; and the company mounted a puzzling internal rebranding campaign to change its name to “Cupcake Caramel by Sweets Bakeshop.”

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

Now, both shops have gone dark. As of this weekend, signs on the doors promised a return from “vacation” on March 1, nearly a month ago. Customer complaints are mounting on the company’s Facebook page, and we’ve heard that communications from other local businesses to the company have gone unanswered.

Our request for comment has gone unanswered thus far; we’ll update this item with a response if one arrives.

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

UPDATE, 03/27/13: A reader tip suggested that there is now a “For Rent” sign in the window of the Sweets Bakeshop St. Paul location; we’ve confirmed it.

Roat Osha (re-opened) | Midori’s Floating World Cafe (re-opening April 3)
2650 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.377.4418 / 2629 E Lake St,  Minneapolis | 612.721.3011

Uptown’s Roat Osha was dark for a number of weeks, leading to speculation about the restaurant’s future. Not to worry: the Thai eatery’s lights are on again after a multi-week floor re-tiling project. On a similar note, an item in My Broadsheet notes that Midori’s Floating World Cafe is set to re-open after post-flood repairs on April 3.

Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table
Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table

Travail (in transition)
The white-hot and nationally famous Travail restaurant in Robbinsdale will close temporarily on April 6, and, by fall of 2013, be reborn as three different spots according to a MPLS-St. Paul story by Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl. The three spots will include a smaller-sized Travail, The Rookery (cocktails and sandwiches), and Pig Ate My Pizza (pizza and charcuterie).

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Primebar (closed)
3001 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

Primebar’s beer- and upscale bar food-focus seemed like a dead ringer for the former Il Gatto (and before that, former Figlio) space on the high traffic, high visibility corner of Lake Street and Hennepin. But after less than a year of operation, the restaurant’s Chicago-based ownership has called it quits. (Here’s our initial, not terribly flattering review of Primebar.)

Courtesy of Red Stag Supperclub
Courtesy of Red Stag Supperclub

Red Stag Supperclub (new chef)
509 1st Ave Northeast, Minneapolis | 612.767.7766

Minnesota native Christopher Gerster, an alum of Madison’s well-regarded Graze farm-to-table restaurant (here’s our review), has come back to run the kitchen at the Kim Bartmann-owned Red Stag Supperclub. The press release announcing his hiring notes that “Christopher Gerster studied at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, then began his career at the notable Restaurant Alma under Alex Roberts, and then at Cafe Levain under Stewart Woodman.”

Franklin Restaurant (now open)
137 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis

A reader writes to the Tap and says: “I stopped at the Franklin Restaurant today (in the Old Azima space) just to look around. I ended up talking to the chef / owner. He is Somali-American, was trained at a culinary school, worked in a variety of places around the city, and now has opened his own place. A very nice guy. He will be serving Somali and ‘American’ food. It is open.”

Crystal Liepa / Heavy Table
Crystal Liepa / Heavy Table

The Tap Says Farewell to Jason Walker

Tap Editor Jason Walker (above, right, with lanyard) has passed the torch on the column, having become beset by the enviable problem of having too much professional writing and communications work on his plate.

Since creating the Tap in 2010, Walker has given the feature its distinctive voice and format, and made it the most reliable and expansive restaurant openings and closing column in the Twin Cities. We’ll greatly miss his contributions to the magazine, and we wish him all the best.


  • Roat Osha, 2650 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Reopened after floor renovation. | 612.377.4418
  • Morrissey’s Irish Pub, 913 W Lake St, Minneapolis | 612.465.8555
  • Hello Pizza, 3904 Sunnyside Rd, Edina | 952.303.4514
  • Franklin Restaurant, 137 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. Formerly Azima.
  • Rincon 38, 3801 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.824.4052
  • Sushi Fix, 862 E Lake St, Wayzata | 612.532.0305
  • Seward Cafe, 2129 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. Now open for dinner service. | 612.332.1011
  • Franklin Restaurant, 137 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Burch Steak, Burch Pizza Bar, 1942 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.843.1515
  • Glam Doll Donuts, 2605 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis | 612.345.7064
  • Red Cow, 3624 W 50th St, Minneapolis | 651.336.2179
  • Thrivent Cafe, 625 4th Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.844.8224
  • 612 Brew taproom, 945 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis | 612.217.0437
  • Steel Toe Brewing Taproom, 4848 W 35th St, St. Louis Park | 952.955.9965
  • Lago Tacos, 30 Water St, Excelsior | 952.300.8495
  • Nicollet Coffee, 2805 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis. Inside Nicollet Halal Market. | 612.872.1414
  • Smack Shack, Washington Ave N and 6th Ave N, Minneapolis | 651.317.4717
  • Lavvu Coffee House, 817 4th St SE, Minneapolis | 612.331.4136
  • Las Sirenas, 199 Plato Blvd, St. Paul | 651.888.2233
  • Grand Central, 1672 Grand Ave, St. Paul. New cafe from Shish Cafe owners. | 651.964.1015
  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Mall of America, Bloomington | 952.883.4223
  • Capitol Cafe, 2417 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.315.2470
  • Parka, 4023 E Lake St, Minneapolis | 612.886.1585
  • Dangerous Man Brewing, 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis | 612.209.2626
  • Northgate Brewing, 3134 California St NE, Minneapolis. Beers available on tap only. | 612.234.1056
  • Milton’s Cafe, 3545 Douglas Dr N, Crystal | 763.535.9373
  • BYO Burger, 1221 S Robert St, West St. Paul | 651.457.4800
  • Vitali’s Bistro, 5101 Minnetonka Blvd, St. Louis Park
  • Sky Bites, 811 LaSalle Ave (skyway), Minneapolis | 612.767.2480
  • The Sparrow Cafe, 5001 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.353.5177
  • Borough, 730 Washington Ave, Minneapolis | 612.354.3135


  • Primebar, 3001 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis.
  • Cupcake Caramel by Sweets Bakeshop, 4747 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis; 2042 Marshall Ave, St. Paul. Closed for a month for unknown reasons; re-opening date unknown. | 612.208-0672; 651.340.7138.
  • Glory Days Bar & Grill, 500 5th Ave NW, New Brighton
  • Kinsen Noodles and Bar, 1300 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis
  • Fischerville Coffee House, 2150 Dodd Rd, Mendota Heights
  • Dean’s Tavern, 1986 Rice St, Maplewood
  • Midway Rendezvous Coffee, 518 Snelling Ave N, St. Paul
  • Midori’s Floating World, 2629 E Lake St, Minneapolis. Closed temporarily due to water main break, re-opening April 3. | 612.721.3011
  • Cat Man Do, 1659 Grand Ave, St. Paul
  • Pizza 3, 1556 Selby Ave, St. Paul
  • Boston Garden, 1019 Mainstreet, Hopkins


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 the Heavy Table. If you have tips for The Tap, please email James Norton at editor@heavytable.com.

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