The Tap: Mid-August Edition

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This week in the Tap: Annotated restaurant openings and closings.

shepherd-song-tap-logo-final-keylineThe Tap is a biweekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm. “We raise 100 percent grass-fed lambs & goats traditionally, humanely, and sustainably.”


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


Screenshot from
Screenshot from
  • Seward Co-op Creamery Neighborhood Cafe, 2601 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis | August 2015 | See our preview here. We have high hopes for this place between the chef (Lucas Almendinger, formerly of Third Bird) and Seward’s connections to the local food scene.
  • I (Heart) Pho, 850 Maryland Ave E, St. Paul | A short item in the PiPress indicates that this place is owned by the same folks who run iPho by Saigon.
  • The Green and Grain, LaSalle Plaza Skyway, 800 LaSalle Avenue | The food truck is now a skyway dining spot.
  • Parella, Calhoun Square | Along with Monello and Il Foro, this is part of the intoxicating fog of upscale Italian restaurants that has descended upon us. Michael Larson (formerly of Parasole, currently of Digby’s) is behind this venture.
  • IN Spirits, 983 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | The crazy flavor crew of Verdant Tea is back after the shuttering of their Franklin Avenue spot, presenting a collaboration in Northeast Minneapolis that pairs them up with Intelligent Nutrients. Jess Fleming praised the aromatherapeutic cocktails as “stunners.” The name is essentially impossible to Google.
  • Hiko Sushi, 1466 Yankee Doodle Road, Eagan | Don’t judge a sushi place by its location; we really enjoyed Haiku in Mendota Heights when it opened.
Peter Sieve / Heavy Table
Peter Sieve / Heavy Table
  • Tattersall Distilling, 1620 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis | Currently the place-of-the-moment, and why shouldn’t it be? Cocktail rooms are white hot right now, and proprietor Dan Oskey has a solid rep. Here’s our review.
  • Wander North, 771 Harding St NE Suite 150, Minneapolis | With the opening of this space, Wander North becomes the third cocktail room in the Twin Cities.
Mike Mommsen / Heavy Table
Mike Mommsen / Heavy Table
  • Giordano’s, 2700 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | This Chicago deep dish pizza chain has plenty of fanatic followers, based on the 2- to 3-hour waits that have been clogging this place since its opening. Here’s our review.
  • The King and I Thai (reopened), 760 Highway 110, Mendota Heights | There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when this Thai-food institution closed in 2012; it’ll be revealing to see how much of its original clientele make the trek to the new incarnation.
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table


Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
  • Fuji-Ya (St. Paul location) | Like so many closings, this happened on the quiet – we heard about it from a reader and confirmed it by checking their website (which now only lists a Minneapolis location.) Seemingly bad news for this reliable sushi institution.
  • Digby’s (both locations) | An unexpected end for the suburban, burger-driven eatery concept by Michael Larson (formerly of Parasole).
  • Blue Point Restaurant & Oyster Bar (Wayzata and Bloomington) | Seafood can be a struggle around here, but these guys lasted 30 years — no small feat.
  • BlueStone Steak and Seafood (Eagan) |  Brief item in the PiPress.
  • Zen Box (Skyway location)
  • Romolo’s in St. Paul | Our review — we’re seriously sad to see this place go. Old-school St. Paul Italian-American to the nth degree.
  • Trattoria Da Vinci | The exception that proves the Lowertown boom rule?
  • Workshop at Union | Soon to be replaced by another “creative space” within this pricey downtown dreadnought? Eater thinks so.
  • Nye’s Polonaise Room (closing 2015) | 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.



  • Ramen Kazama, 3400 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis | August 2015
  • Polpo | Late 2015 | In the former La Mac Cleaners Space, run by David Hahne, the former chef of the excellent Cave Vin.
  • Cafe Alma, 528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis | Summer 2015 | Hailed by the Star Tribune as this year’s Best Upcoming Project and a “casual breakfast-to-late night cafe, coffee bar, wine bar and bakery.”
  • Inbound Brewco, 701 5th Street North | End of 2015 |  Appears to be a spin-off of Lucid.
  • Bogart’s Doughnut Company, downtown location, IDS Center, Minneapolis | August 2015 | Bogart’s is up there with Mojo Monkey and YoYo Donuts for quality and creativity, so it’s encouraging to see them grow.
  • Lawless Distilling, 2619 28th Ave S, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
  • Scena Tavern, 2943 Girard Ave S, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
  • Bonicelli Kitchen, 1901 NE Fillmore St, Minneapolis | August 2015 | A catering business making the jump to bricks-and-mortar.
  • Twin Spirits Distillery, 2931 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis | Fall 2015
  • Able Seedhouse and Brewery, 1121 Quincy St NE, Minneapolis | Winter 2015
  • Lakes and Legends Brewing Company, 1368 Lasalle Ave, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
  • Q Fanatic, 6009 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | Summer 2015 (second location) | Although the local BBQ scene is mighty weak, we do think Q Fanatic does a good job at serving up serious Q. This new location, along with upcoming truck Bark and the Bite, suggests that there’s hope for us yet.
  • DiNoko’s Pizzeria, 4457 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis | September 7, 2015 | Apropos of Giordano’s (see above), 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.
  • Eggy’s Diner, LPM Apartments, 1369 Spruce Pl, Minneapolis | Summer 2015 | If this name doesn’t set expectations comfortably low for you, I’m not sure what would.
  • Bryn Mawr Brewing, 225 Thomas Ave N, Minneapolis | Winter 2015
  • Eastside at Latitude 45, 301 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis | September 22, 2015 | Eastside will feature Seattle-based chef Nick Dugan as its Chef de Cuisine, working alongside Executive Chef Remy Pettus.
  • Restaurant TBA replacing the Modern in Northeast Minneapolis | Summer 2015
  • Hi-Lo Diner (working name), 4020 E Lake St, Minneapolis | Autumn of 2015 | Seward and Longfellow are really jumping onto the breakfast train after years of struggling to get by with nothing more than the overpriced Longfellow Grill and the inedible Denny’s; Mon Petit Cheri seems to be doing well, and the new Seward Co-op Creamery Cafe will be a serious breakfast presence as well. Hi-Lo is getting in as the neighborhoods heat up. Here’s the press release and a photo of a crane lifting the diner into place.
  • St. Genevieve, 5003 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis | 2015
  • Seward Co-op Friendship Store, 317 38th St E, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
  • Upton43, 4312 Upton Ave, Minneapolis | September 2015
  • Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, 3016 E Lake St, Minneapolis | Fall 2015 | We profiled these guys when they were mounting their (successful) Kickstarter campaign, and they have a fascinating take on how to do earthy, grassroots local wine and cider.
  • Lost Falls Distillery, 1915 E 22nd St, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
  • The Herbivorous Butcher, Minneapolis | Summer 2015 | These guys have gotten serious national press and look poised to become a force in the food scene once their bricks-and-mortar spot is up and running.
  • Pizzeria Lola concept TBD, 165 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis | 2015
  • The Bachelor Farmer Cafe project to be named, 200 N 1st St, Minneapolis | 2015

St. Paul

  • Dark Horse Bar and Eatery, 250 E. 7th St. | 2015 | From the same folks who brought us Muddy Waters, as per this story.
  • Lake Monster Brewing, 550 Vandalia St, St. Paul | 2015
  • Bad Weather Brewing, 414 7th St W, St. Paul | 2015
  • Heirloom, 2186 Marshall Ave, St. Paul | 2015 | W.A. Frost chef Wyatt Evans hopes to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors (such as Russell Klein and Lenny Russo) and found a new St. Paul gastronomic institution. “Modern but … approachable … slow food” sounds pretty good to us (quotes from the Pioneer Press preview).
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
  • 11 Wells Millwright Cocktail Room, Historic Hamm Building, St. Paul | Summer 2015
  • Lexington (new ownership), 1096 Grand Ave, St. Paul | Mid-November 2015 or later | 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. Jess Fleming sums up the progress or lack thereof here.

Greater Twin Cities Area and Beyond

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
  • The Alchemist, 2222 4th St, White Bear Lake | September 2015 | A craft cocktail haven run by legendary mixologist Johnny Michaels (above).
  • Ruscello, Nordstrom Ridgedale, Minnetonka | October 2015
  • Cien Tacos, 803 Bielenberg Drive, Woodbury | August 24 | Apparently they will not, in fact, offer 100 different kinds of tacos, which is a minor bummer.
  • 10K Brewing, Bank Block on Second and Main, Anoka | 2015 | A reader writes: “According to their Kickstarter, they are looking to have a backer party August 21 / 22 and then a full opening after that. It’s currently all dependent on a liquor license from Anoka though. But since they drove the city council to allow tap rooms inside city limits, this is likely to approved.”
  • Gogi Bros. House, Shady Oak Retail Center, Eden Prairie | Summer 2015 | These guys haven’t updated their Facebook presence since April.
  • Wicked Wort Brewing Co., 4165-4175 W Broadway, Robbinsdale | Fall 2015

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

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