The Hole Sports Lounge, Blood and Chocolates, Cupcake, Indeed Brewing, 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

January’s winner: Suzy Vowels of Minneapolis

The Hole Sports Lounge (now open)

2501 University Ave SE, Minneapolis | 612.331.7474 |

Committed to serving “better-than-your-average bar food,” The Hole Sports Lounge has opened in the former Leaning Tower of Pizza space near TCF Bank Stadium. The Hole specializes in burgers, hand-tossed pizzas, and appetizers, all made in house, and there’s a full-service bar with 18 beers on tap.

Owner Jeremy Mahany said a signature item was Piquillo Poppers: peppers stuffed with cream cheese, manchego cheese, and chives, then hand-tossed in panko crumbs and almonds, deep-fried, and served with a balsamic reduction and house-made pesto.

“We pride ourselves on making all of our own sauces and using the freshest ingredients,” Mahany said. “We make all of our own pizza sauce, our marinaras, all our sauces that are served with appetizers like cheese, cucumber sauce, the mango honey mustard served with our wings, a chili-lime aioli, and a sweet-potato ketchup.”

Chef at The Hole is Ian Pierce, an alum of The 128 Cafe, Cesare’s Wine Bar, The Modern Cafe, and 20.21. He said creating upscale bar food was a fun challenge after building a career in fine dining and that, so far, The Hole’s menu was popular.

“It seems that burgers and pizzas are the hands-down winners,” Pierce said. “Hand-pattied black Angus burgers with just the right amount of a few key ingredients in the mix can go a long way to differentiate a great burger from a good one. I feel that some nice burger toppings like crisped prosciutto di Parma, manchego, and house-made pickles, along with our killer barbecue, aiolis, and my never-ending quest to teach cooks how to perfectly season each burger (and every dish), will set us apart.”

Blood and Chocolates (opening delayed)

495 Selby Ave, St. Paul | 651.492.4799 | Find it on Facebook

Blood and Chocolates, the vivacious brainchild of St. Paulite Kerry D’Amato and business partner Bo Wayne, has been struggling with what D’Amato called an “open-ended delay.”

D’Amato said some extra construction regarding city-mandated accessibility popped up, and that and other personal issues were behind the problems. She said the opening for Blood and Chocolates was in “a holding pattern.”

It’s fair to say that D’Amato wants her shop to be perfect before opening. Photos on the B&C Facebook page illustrate the level of sophistication she’s going for; combine that with any sort of delay  – personal or otherwise – and you’ve got a problem.

As she said, “It’s going to be sort of a full experience: Mind, body, spirit. That might be going a little far, but you’re not going to be walking into a chocolate shop and seeing a deli display case of chocolates that you choose from and that’s it. It’s going to have a lot more personality to it.”

D’Amato did say that she paid her landlord for a year in advance, so she has time to work out the kinks. She also supplied The Tap with samples of three chocolates: coconut and lime caramel, rooibos and vanilla caramel, and blood orange and gunpowder tea patty; all were terrific.

Cupcake (St. Paul expansion scuttled)

949 Grand Ave, St. Paul |

Speaking of opening issues in St. Paul, Cupcake’s Grand Avenue bakery and wine bar has been permanently scuttled, although it wasn’t because of fighting City Hall. According to the Pioneer Press, owner Kevin Vanderaa pulled out after he couldn’t come to an agreement over parking with the neighborhood’s Summit Hill Association.

Vanderaa gave the paper a great quote: “It was going to be a beautiful little wine bar designed for women who don’t want to go to Billy’s and hang out with frat boys. I just don’t think it should be this hard to open on Grand Avenue.” Zing!

The Minneapolis location remains open as usual at 3338 University Ave SE.

Indeed Brewing (opens this summer)

711 15th Ave NE Minneapolis | 612.643.1226 |

Indeed Brewing Company plans to open a 12,000-square-foot brewery and taproom in Northeast Minneapolis this summer, selling two flagship brews to liquor stores, bars, and restaurants, and serving pints in its taproom.

The brewer is Josh Bischoff, a veteran of Minneapolis’ Town Hall Brewery, and Indeed will brew “hop-forward, adventurous beers for adventurous drinkers – think chipotle-smoked porter,” according to a press release. Indeed will be packaging beer in six packs of 12-ounce cans.


  • 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 |
  • Turkey to Go, 101 7th St S, (Roanoke Building skyway), Minneapolis | 612.655.1795 |
  • Cintia’s of Mexico, 6042 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
  • Free Style Yogurt, 500 Lexington Parkway S, St. Paul | 651.699.1992 | Our take
  • The Hole Sports Lounge, 2501 University Ave SE, Minneapolis | 612.331.7474 |
  • 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 |
  • Yogurt Lab, 3104 Excelsior Blvd, Minneapolis | 612.926.8212 | Our take
  • Boom Island Brewing Company, 2207 N 2nd St, Minneapolis. Now on tap at various locations; growler sales coming later this month. | 612.227.9635 | Our take
  • Zest Bar and Grill, 525 Diffley Rd, Eagan | 651.468.9053 |
  • Colossal Cafe, 2315 Como Ave, St. Paul |
  • El Loro, 2535 W. Highway 10, Mounds View
  • Valley Tap House, 14889 Florence Trail, Apple Valley | 952.431.2337 | Find it on Facebook
  • West Bank Diner, 324 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.333.2211 | Find it on Facebook
  • Five Guys, 8360 3rd St N, Oakdale; 4105 Vinewood Lane N, Plymouth; 12555 Castlemoor Drive, Eden Prairie |
  • Lucid Brewing, 6020 Culligan Way, Minnetonka. On tap now at various locations; growler sales begin this spring. |
  • Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee, 1830 Glenwood Ave N, Minneapolis | 612.377.4476 |
  • Eat Street Pizza, 1931 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis (inside The Nicollet) | 612.874.9125 |


  • 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
  • Rubylicious, 4100 W Broadway, Robbinsdale
  • Kenwood Cafe, 2115 W 21st St, Minneapolis
  • Chula Vista, 1741 S Robert St, West St. Paul
  • Black Bamboo, 333 S 7th St, Minneapolis
  • Leaning Tower of Pizza, 2505 University Ave SE, Minneapolis


  • :D-Spot, 1993 Burns Ave, St. Paul | Our take on the original
  • Butcher and the Boar, 1121 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens late February. | Find it on Facebook
  • Sparks, 230 Cedar Lake Road S, Minneapolis. Opens late February. | 612.259.8943 | Find it on Facebook
  • Sweet Ducky Cupcakery, 117 W Churchill St #2, Stillwater. Opens in February. | Find it on Facebook
  • Devil’s Advocate, 89 S 10th St, Minneapolis. Opens in Feburary.
  • Maruso Street Food and Cocktails, 715 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens in February.
  • Tonkotsu Ramen and Curry House, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market). Opens March 30.
  • Rocky and Shem’s Ice Cream Shoppe, 56th and Chicago, Minneapolis. Opens April 1.
  • George & the Dragon, 813 W 50th St, Minneapolis. Opens in April. | 612.355.9114 |
  • Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis. Opens in April.
  • Ike’s, 17805 Hwy 7, Minnetonka. Opens in April. |
  • Smokehouse Brewpub, 38th St. and 28th Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in May. |
  • 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. |
  • Birdhouse, 2516 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this spring.
  • Nadia Cakes, 11650 Fountains Drive, Suite 207, Maple Grove. Opens this spring. |
  • Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. |
  • 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. |
  • Indeed Brewing, 711 15th Ave NE Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.643.1226 |
  • Cossetta’s, 211 7th St W, St. Paul. Existing market opening new rooftop restaurant; opens this summer. | 651.222.3476 |
  • Rodizio Grill, 12197 Elm Creek Blvd N, Maple Grove. Opens in 2012. |
  • Blood and Chocolates, 495 Selby Ave, St. Paul. Opens in 2012. | 651.492.4799 | Find it on Facebook
  • Dr. Chocolate’s Chocolate Chateau, 579 Selby Ave, St. Paul | 651.379.3676 |
  • Well Seasoned, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market)
  • Super Moon Buffet, 6445 Wayzata Blvd, St. Louis Park
  • American Joe, 344 Wabasha St N, St. Paul
  • Dangerous Man Brewing, 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis | 612.377.4164 |
  • The Original Just Turkey Restaurant, 3758 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis |
  • Tibet Kitchen, 1833 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Hell’s Kitchen Bakery, 80 S 9th St, Minneapolis |
  • Alda Mediterranean, 2208 W 66th St, Richfield
  • Burger Night, Minneapolis. Still looking for location. | 612.217.0102 |
  • Pistol Pete’s BBQ, 222 N Chestnut St, Chaska
  • Patron Mexican Restaurant, 207 N. Chestnut St, Chaska
  • Humble Pie, 822 W. 36th St., Minneapolis. Kim Bartmann’s revamp of Gigi’s. | 612.825.0818
  • Cranky’s Bicycle Bar, E Lake St, Minneapolis | Find it on Facebook

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 The Tap’s Twitter feed has moved to @heavytable.

One Comment

  1. Bobannon

    I heard Tibet Kitchen was open now. Sounds like a very similar menu as Gangchen. I wonder if it’s the same owners?

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