With as many moving pieces as there are in our current dining landscape, it's heartening to know that the movement hasn't involved very many shuttering doors. But any landscape has its shifts, with tectonic plates creaking slowly but surely beneath us. A few closings, a few openings, all hopefully in the name of eventual overall advancement:
Despite its unparalleled downtown Minneapolis lunch special and more recent attempts at even greater happy hour discounts, Masa is finally throwing in the towel. They existed in their Nicollet Mall location for a decade, and their lease ends on October 24. They cite the impending Nicollet remodel for part of the decision to shutter. They'll continue to run their notable deals until the end of the night on October 24.
While the closing of St. Paul Fuji Ya was quiet, their operation was similarly so. We don't like to say this, but we have to say it here: sad but not surprising. The Minneapolis location is still going strong, and longtime chef Matthew Kazama is soon branching out on his own with the much-anticipated ramen bar Ramen Kazama.
Though they recently brought in a new chef, Mattie's on Main wasn't able to make a go of it after all in the strange, cavernous space on St. Anthony Main. Look to Wilde Roast Cafe and Aster Cafe for a similar live music and food scene.
In order to round out the offerings at Kieran Folliard's Food Building, the Workhorse will be joining Red Table Meat and Lone Grazer Creamery at the northeast Minneapolis food incubator. Partners of the Workhorse include Anne Saxton of Kyatchi and Luke and Katie Kyle of Anchor Fish & Chips. The space will be designed in part as a deli to showcase the other food businesses in the building, and in part as a "Sunday roast restaurant" with braises, vegetables, pot pies, and a full bar. So have you always dreamed of someone making you the mother of all sandwiches from Mike Phillips' charcuterie and putting it next to a gin and tonic? Well, here ya go. Opens in November.
Restaurateur Ryan Burnet has outdone himself with Eastside, his new downtown restaurant that might just rival Il Foro when it comes to looks. The industrial chic space features stunning tile work throughout and a culinary program by Remy Pettus, formerly of Cosmos. Watch for protein and veg-heavy plates conspicuously limited on carbs and dairy but heavy with wood smoke thanks to the state-of-the-art deck oven in the sweeping open kitchen. Opens September 29.
Other stuff to watch:
It recently applied for bankruptcy protection, so we're keeping our eye on this beloved institution best known for extremely casual eats and less casual Monopoly, Atari, and Uno tournaments.
Savory Bakehouse from longtime Birchwood Cafe baker Sandra Sherva is coming soon to south Minneapolis near Merlins Rest. They say their specialty will be baking around the seasons.
Not to let Giordano's get away with all the glory, local DiNoko's is throwing its name in the deep dish game — it had a brief stay in downtown, but recently moved to 4457 42nd Ave. S. and will soon have another location at 4747 Nicollet Ave. S.
As previously reported, Old Town Pourhouse will not be providing the eats and the drinks inside of the Mayo Clinic. Instead, the Star Tribune reports City Works will occupy the space. The restaurant is by the same group, but the change in semantics is to indicate a more upscale experience. "After getting acquainted with the location in Minneapolis, we felt it was important for our concept to match the energy of the area." Watch for an early 2016 opening.