Valhalla, Co-op Creamery Cafe, and More

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This week in the Tap: a Kickstarter designed to encourage organic grazing, a new Nordic-themed brewpub called Valhalla, the Co-op Creamery Cafe on Franklin Avenue, and more.

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Screenshot from
Screenshot from

Co-op Creamery Neighborhood Cafe (opens in July)
2601 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis

Seward Co-op’s booming business has made for a crowded parking lot, busy aisles, and a small, overtaxed bakery (Production Manager Chad Snelson describes it as a “little closet.”)

The Co-op’s closet days will soon come to an end; renovation is well underway at the old Franklin Creamery location on Franklin Avenue, and the new space will house Seward’s offices as well as a production kitchen turning out baked goods and meat products including smoked sausages. The location will also serve the co-op’s second location, which is being built at 317 E 38th St in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis.

And, oh yes — there’ll be a restaurant, too. The three-meals-a-day Co-op Creamery arrives on Franklin at a time when Seward and Longfellow are booming, and both neighborhoods are waking up with a growing interest in hot breakfast. (The arrival of Mon Petit Chéri Bakery on Franklin, the upcoming Hi-Lo Diner project on Lake Street, and the addition of daily breakfasts at the Rail Station all point in this direction.)

“The vision is to create a way to highlight all the good things we do at the Seward, but in a different way,” says Snelson. “We’re going to create a restaurant where the food is really phenomenal, and then — ‘comma’ — it’s also local, and also ethically sourced, and also, we pay well …”

The co-op hasn’t yet snagged a chef, but the plan is for a menu that will rotate frequently, taking advantage of seasonal ingredients and long-standing relationships with local producers.

“It’s the producers people have become familiar with over the past 20 years at the co-op, but prepared in a different setting,” says Seward Co-op marketing manager Tom Vogel. “You’ll have a lot of the same ranchers and poultry and produce farmers, but it’ll be prepared in a more sit-down, chef-driven way. The ingredients are going to be the stars.”

The emphasis on purveyors — common among newly founded restaurants — is no gimmick at the Creamery, say Snelson and Vogel. “A lot of people are using the term now: ‘locally sourced,’” says Vogel. “It’s become kind of a catch phrase, but with us, it’s part of our foundation. We were local before everyone started talking about local.”

The history of the Franklin Creamery runs deep at the location, something the restaurant will tap into by incorporating old photos and uniforms into the decor.

“It started as a milk and dairy delivery cooperative, founded by union milk drivers in 1919,” says Vogel. “They were very successful. They had a couple locations, including one in North Minneapolis, up until delivered milk became kind of passe after World War II. In the 1920s and through the Depression and World War II, they were a thriving cooperative creamery. They had a whole range of products including milk, ice cream, and eggs.”

The Seward Co-op team is targeting July for the Creamery Cafe’s soft opening, with a grand opening planned for September.

Becca Dilley / Minnesota Lunch
Becca Dilley / Minnesota Lunch

Valhalla Nordic Smoke & Ale House (Opens in May)
310 Stillwater Rd, Willernie, Minnesota

Brent and Brian Pilrain (the brothers behind the reliably good Roman Market and Patriots Tavern; Brent is pictured above) are unveiling their latest project this May: Valhalla Nordic Smoke & Ale House, located in the former Hanger Room in Willernie.

The brewpub’s menu will feature house-brewed beers, Scandinavian-inflected comfort food (including gravad lox, Swedish meatballs, and a smoked fish plate), and some more ambitious dishes (including smoked beef bone marrow (“Butter of the Gods”), a venison filet, and a cold beer dessert soup featuring dark ale, cream, rye bread, and gingerbread.)

The Valhalla team includes the Pilrain brothers, their father Dave, executive chef and brewer Guy Juran, and chef de cuisine (and brewer) Steve Rinker, one of the founders of Lift Bridge Brewing.

If history is any indicator, the Pilrains will do well with the concept. Hammerheart’s Nordic-inflected smoke-and-brew combo is booming along nicely in Lino Lakes, and there’s ample proof that the brothers can forge into new territory and conquer it. (We went into the New-England-themed Patriots Tavern skeptical and emerged believers.)

Screenshot from
Screenshot from

Kalona SuperNatural (launched Kickstarter campaign)

An Iowa creamery is heading to Kickstarter for assistance in creating an organic grazing pasture for local farmers. From the press release:

Farmers Creamery, the makers of Kalona SuperNatural organic dairy products, Marilyn Farms, and the Kalona Iowa Amish and Mennonite dairy farmers have partnered to launch an online fundraising project through called Fencing Fields. Their goal is increase the supply of certified organic, grass-fed milk by offering a custom grazing program to the local farmers. This will allow the farmers to increase the size of their herds by providing access to fenced, organic grazing pasture at Marilyn Farms. The increased availability of organic milk will allow Farmers Creamery to produce more, delicious Kalona SuperNatural products!

The campaign has 24 days to go and has raised nearly $3,000 of its $20,000 goal.


Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table


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  • Eggy’s Diner, LPM Apartments, 1369 Spruce Pl, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
  • Eastside, 301 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis | August 2015
  • Monello and Constantine, Hotel Ivy 201 S 11th St, Minneapolis | June 2015
  • 4 Bells, 1610 Harmon Place, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
  • La Ceiba Bistro, 3500 Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis | 2015
  • Seward Co-op Creamery Neighborhood Cafe, 2601 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis | July 2015
  • Parella, Calhoun Square | July 2015
  • Hi-Lo Diner (working name), 4020 E Lake St, Minneapolis | Summer or Autumn of 2015
  • Tattersall Distilling | Summer 2015
  • St. Genevieve, 5003 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis | Mid-2015
  • Il Foro, City Center, Minneapolis | June 2015
  • Nighthawks, 3753 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | End of April 2015
  • Seward Co-op Friendship Store, 317 38th St E | Summer 2015
  • Upton43, 4312 Upton Ave, Minneapolis | September 2015
  • 56 Brewing, 3134 California St NE, Minneapolis | Spring 2015
  • Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, 3016 E Lake St, Minneapolis | Fall 2015
  • Lost Falls Distillery, 1915 E 22nd St, Minneapolis | Early 2015
  • Bradstreet Neighborhood Craftshouse, 1930 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | Early 2015
  • The Herbivorous Butcher, Minneapolis | 2015
  • 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

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
  • 11 Wells Millwright Cocktail Room, Historic Hamm Building, St. Paul | Spring 2015
  • Lexington (new ownership), 1096 Grand Ave, St. Paul | Spring 2015
  • Saint Dinette, 280 E 5th St, St. Paul | Early 2015

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

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