The Tap: Death of a Butcher

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This week in the Tap: The importance of a neighborhood butcher can hardly be overstated.

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

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Death of a Butcher

Like many people across the metro area, we were profoundly saddened to hear about the death of butcher and neighborhood celebrity Stuart Gerr in a fire at Stasny’s Food Market in St. Paul. In a generic sense, all unexpected loss of life stings bitterly. But in a more specific sense, the Stasny’s fire and the community’s reaction to it illustrates exactly what’s most important about the people who cook and sell real food: They are nexus points for society, living connectors between people from different walks of life and parts of the world, united by a love of good eating.

A place like Stasny’s, with its 94-year history, isn’t just a shop where people stock up for the week; it’s a thread that’s woven over the course of generations into the very identity of its neighborhood. You need to trust your butcher: He or she is providing you with a product that can be handled respectfully (or not), prepared skillfully (or not), and priced fairly (or not). Across the city there are places like Stasny’s, but always too few and far between. Near my house, it’s Everett’s, but elsewhere it might be Clancey’s, or Ready Meats, or Mike’s Butcher Shop. We come to depend upon our butchers. If Everett’s closed for any reason, I’d be crushed, and if it closed under tragic circumstances, I’d be gutted. You could say, “it’s just meat,” but you might as well say, “it’s just life.”

Our own Jason Walker interviewed Gerr while researching The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food:

“… Stasny’s is the type of tiny place that you’d drive across town to visit. It’s also like stepping back in time to when every grocery store was of the small, neighborhood variety and probably had a traditional meat counter in back. The butcher on my visit, Stu Gerr, said he’d been cutting meat for more than 60 years. … Stasny’s makes its own sausages and cures its own bacon that’s available sliced to order. It also has a nice selection of Kansas City barbecue sauce as well as frozen fruit-filled “kuchen” that Gerr told me were ‘the real thing, they’re made by old ladies over in North Dakota.’”

A GoFundMe site has been set up for Gerr’s funeral expenses.

James Norton


Dogwood Coffee Pour Over
Kate N.G. Sommers/Heavy Table
  • Dogwood Coffee Company (new location), 825 Carleton St, St. Paul
  • Handsome Hog, 225 E 6th St, St. Paul | Former Brasserie Zentral and Meritage chef Justin Sutherland is cooking contemporary Southern food with a high-end twist. Review later this week.

    Brianna Stachowki / Heavy Table
    Brianna Stachowki / Heavy Table
  • Hoban Korean Barbecue, 2939 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | Our brief review is here.
  • Hi-Lo Diner, 4020 E Lake St, Minneapolis
  • Q Fanatic, 6009 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | The second location of our favorite local BBQ joint.

    Joe Krummel / Heavy Table
    Joe Krummel / Heavy Table
  • Lou Nanne’s, 7651 France Ave S, Edina | Steakcentric menu with a Manny’s vet (Josh Hill) as chef. Our brief review is here.
  • Encore Karaoke and Sushi Lounge, 2111 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis | The former Verdant Tea space on Franklin now boasts private karaoke rooms that’ll set you back $60 (for two hours in the Silver Room) to $800 (for four hours in the Penthouse, which houses 20-30 guests).


  • Bonnie’s Cafe (Closing April 25)
  • Foreign Legion | The last element of the glorious but short-lived Brasserie Zentral.
  • Lee’s and Dee’s Bar-B-Que Express (Some hope remains that it will reopen)
  • Scusi | New restaurant concept to be announced this month.
  • Christos
  • Cheeky Monkey | A second location of Revival is moving in.
Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table
Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table
  • Nye’s Polonaise Room (closed April 3) | This trolltastic City Pages column nonetheless does a good job of expressing some of the ambiguity about the passing of the nationally known and locally legendary Nye’s.



Screenshot from Wild Mind Ales website
Screenshot from Wild Mind Artisan Ales website
  • Wild Mind Artisan Ales Taproom, 6031 Pillsbury Ave S, Minneapolis | As per the press release: “Wild Mind will predominantly produce wild, sour, farmhouse, saison, and rustic ales in the traditional European method: through barrel aging and blending, which produces beers with rich, deep, complex flavors.”
  • Clockwerks Brewing Company, 25 4th St. N, Minneapolis | Late spring.
  • Trapeze, 1600 West Lake Street, Minneapolis | Early Summer 2016 | A new Kim Bartmann “bubbles and toasts” bar opening next door to Barbette.
  • Blackeye Roasting Company, 330 Second Avenue S., Minneapolis (Skyway level) | Spring | An 18-seat cafe located in the skyway with 10 tap lines of non-alcoholic beverages that include nitro cold brew coffee, nitro iced tea, kombucha and draft cocktails
  • Erik the Red, 600 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis | Summer | Nordic-influenced barbecue from the owner of Devil’s Advocate.
  • Costa Blanca, 2416 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis | The latest spot from the opening-restaurants-like-crazy Hector Ruiz.
  • Young Joni, ​165 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis | Summer 2016 | Anticipation is high for this new wood-fired pizza and Korean spot by Pizzeria Lola / Hello Pizza boss Ann Kim.
  • PinKU, 20 University Ave NE, Minneapolis | June 1 | Ramen, dumplings, other Japanese street food.
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
  • Bakers’ Field, The Food Building | 2016 | Bread made from grain milled on site at the Food Building in Northeast Minneapolis, owned by Steve Horton, formerly of Rustica.
  • Shake Shack | Early 2016 | A local outpost of the cult favorite better-burger chain will open at the Mall of America.
  • Revival, 525 Selby Ave (former Cheeky Monkey space) | Summer 2016 | A second location for the popular fried chicken spin-off of Corner Table.
  • Rose Street Patisserie, 2811 W 43rd St, Minneapolis | 2016 | The Linden Hills outpost of Patisserie 46 will be a bakery and full-service restaurant with 54 seats.
  • Project TBD at old Walker Library in Uptown, 2901 Hennepin Ave S | Architectural details available here.
  • Modist Brewing Company, 505 N 3rd St, Minneapolis | Early 2016 | Read our extensive preview.
  • Cafe Alma, 530 University Ave SE, Minneapolis | Early 2016 | Slated to be an all-day cafe with a liquor license and a six-room hotel upstairs, as Alex Roberts explains in this Q and A with Rick Nelson.
  • Inbound Brewco, 701 5th St N, Minneapolis | Early 2016
  • The Viking Bar, 1829 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis | Early 2016 | After nearly a decade of closure, this Cedar-Riverside saloon is on its way to reopening. A Feb. 7 Facebook post promises an announcement about an opening date soon.
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
  • Brut, 428 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis | 2016 | With all the culinary firepower of Erik Anderson (above) and Jamie Malone, Brut promises exciting things. It’s going into the old Sapor space on Washington Avenue.
  • Lawless Distilling, 2619 28th Ave S, Minneapolis | Early 2016
  • Bonicelli Kitchen, 1839 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis | Early Summer 2016 | Opening in the former Razaaq space on Central Avenue.
  • Twin Spirits Distillery, 2931 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis | Early 2016
  • DiNoko’s Pizzeria, 4457 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis | Early 2016 | DiNoko’s is a local place that can do deep dish pizza seriously well. Their move from Nokomis to downtown Minneapolis didn’t work out; here’s hoping that their return foray to South Minneapolis does.
  • Utepils (formerly Bryn Mawr) Brewing, 225 Thomas Ave N, Minneapolis | Late summer 2016

St. Paul

  • Black Coffee and Waffle Bar, Marshall and Cretin Aves, St. Paul | Second location.
  • Parco 400, 400 N Sibley St, St. Paul | Late spring 2016 | A new Italian restaurant opening in the old Trattoria Da Vinci spot in Lowertown, the culinary side to be headed up by Troy Unruh, formerly of New York City’s well-known Del Posto.
  • World of Beer, 356 N Sibley St, St. Paul | 2016 | Part of a chain including locations in Wauwatosa and Appleton, Wis., and Naperville, Ill.
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
  • 11 Wells Millwright Cocktail Room, Historic Hamm Building, St. Paul | 2016 | A restaurant aspect to the space is rumored to be under consideration.
  • The Lexington (new ownership), 1096 Grand Ave, St. Paul | Spring 2016 | It’ll be interesting to see how the ambitious team behind this revamp and relaunch tackles the task. Between its facade, its location, and its glorious but stuffy, old-school feel, we’ll find it tough to sort the baby from the bathwater on this one. Their Facebook page says, “Keep calm. We are opening soon.”

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


  1. Sally Van Dyke

    Why is Christos on the Closed/Closing list? I could find nothing about them closing.

  2. Eric Larsen

    Mike of Mike’s Butcher shop here in West Saint Paul passed last year, so during the city festival in May we closed a street to have a grilling festival at his butcher shop in his honor. I really hope they keep it as a yearly event!

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