It was summer 2014 when Falafel King sold off its building on Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue; its doors closed for good a few months later.
Not long after it got new owners, the building was painted a bright minty green, a shocking makeover for the formerly red brick building.
Weeks and months went by. The shock wore off. And nothing happened: This big corner space in one of the city's busier intersections stayed empty, with nary a rumor of who or what would succeed the King.
Now we know: Minneapolis is getting yet another smokehouse joint. The next Lake and Lyndale business coming to Uptown is called Great Northern Smokehouse, according to Finance & Commerce, which caught the news in documents submitted to the city.
Those records, submitted in early June say the restaurant will hold up to 80 people inside (way more than would've fit in Falafel King) and another 28 outside at a row of seven curbside tables. The business has also applied for a liquor license.
Just who'll be doing the great northern smoking remains to be seen—building owner Michael Veazey is into real estate, not restaurants—as is any prospective opening date.
The restaurant joins similarly named Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub (in south Minneapolis) and Northern Waters Smokehaus (Duluth) in a trend indicating Minnesotans do not want to think of smoke without being reminded they are also in The North™.
Great Northern's imminent arrival continues the barbecue heyday of the Twin Cities: Q Fanatic opened in south Minneapolis in 2016, as did Hoban Korean on Hennepin; Revival started smoking stuff in St. Paul late last year, and StormKing Barbecue popped up around the corner from Eat Street a few months ago.
Don't bother bugging people to find out when Great Northern Smokehouse will be open for business. If it's any good, you'll be able to smell it before they even crack the door.