The DJI may be down, but new restaurants are still opening. The Pi Press reports on three ventures coming to the east side in the upcoming weeks:
1. Brasa Rotisserie II should open in the original Italian Pie Shoppe near Avon Street on Grand Avenue in mid-May with the same menu as the Northeast Minneapolis Brasa. With a larger kitchen, chef/owner Alex Roberts says he'll also be able to offer daily specials. This should be a huge boon for St. Paulites and I expect it will be as mobbed as the other location.
2. The nearby Grand Avenue storefront that formery housed Grand Asia will soon transform into a second India House, as the owner runs the one on Nicollet in Minneapolis. St. Paul lacks in the Indian department when compared to Minneapolis--it's quite a trek up to Little India in Northeast from SP--so I think neighbors will be happy about this one, as well.
3. The owner of I Nonni and Buon Giorno in Lilydale, Frank Marchionda, hopes to open a more casual Italian eatery/wine bar in the former Viva Italia in Eagan later this month. The menu at new the new spot, Bibo, will be designed by I Nonni chef Filippo Caffari and targeted towards weeknight diners, not the special-occasion crowd I Nonni attracts. Not a bad idea for Marchionda to expand his brand to a lower price point market--we'll see if he can pull it off as well as Roberts has.