LynLake Brewery opened its doors in 2014, haunting the guts of the hundred-plus-year-old Lyndale Theater.
From day one, interior space was at a premium. A “patio” with a split tapline was installed on the roof early on, making it possible to accommodate more guests during Minnesota's kinder months, while the possibility of adding food was tabled, owing to the huge footprint required to brew their beer in-house. Like most of their taproom peers, LynLake was fine with customers bringing in their own food, or ordering out for delivery directly to the Brewery.
That is, until now.
LynLake Brewery just unveiled a new mini-kitchen on their ground-floor. The plan is to rotate vendors every 60 days… and it’s already started with a bang in the hands of DOMO, the heretofore Northeast-based “proudly inauthentic” Asian-fusion joint.
Wes King, LynLake’s General Manager, cited “expediency” as the reason they finally brought food in-house.
After years of the status quo, a familiar pattern had taken over; King spent years watching customers walk out the door, promising to be back as soon as they got a bite to eat, only to realize how rarely it rarely worked out that way. “And if the other option is waiting 40 minutes for TacoCat? When you’re hungry, that’s hard too.”
At a preview event this Monday, the DOMO crew showed us what they can achieve in the meager square-footage available. Between their kimchi tater tots (dressed with a poached egg, scallions, the eponymous pickled cabbage, and a spicy sauce drizzle), a trio of bahn mi-style sandwiches (pulled pork, crispy tofu, and fried chicken), cream cheese rangoons (with an accompanying teriyaki-esque dipping sauce), and the flash-fried Brussels sprouts (glazed in a soy-fish sauce and dusted with panko crunchies), the kitchen seems like one of LynLake’s best ideas in a long time.
All in all, the taprooom sacrificed 40 seats to make the transition to selling solids. King is confident it’s a worthy trade-off. Customers now have the option of ordering food directly at the bar, where they’re handed a pager that jiggles when their order appears in the kitchen window. But to reach customers on that glorious rooftop patio, the paging system had to be strong enough to blast through the ancient, thick roof.
As for the effective radius of the pagers, King laughed when I asked if I could get one all the way home, only to be paged to return when my meal was ready.
“Yeah, but the food will come up before you get there.”
Is ramen not your thing? LynLake's got you covered there, too. In a couple months, the kitchen will be ripped from DOMO's hands. Expect Chicks on Wheels, Sasquatch Sandwiches, and Gastrotruck on the horizon.