So, check this out: We’ve got a pizzeria set to open in an old gas station out in Minnetonka; Bark and the Bite BBQ slinging' Q out of a convenience store (Sunny’s Market in Northeast), and this just in— a bar bakery in a laundromat!
What’s a bar bakery you might ask? It’s a bakery that happens to also serve beer, as well as dinner and brunch on the weekend. And this isn't going to be any old beer, people, because Augustine’s Bar & Bakery is going to be owned and operated by the same beer-centric people who bring you the Happy Gnome, one of St. Paul’s most lauded beer bars.
The casual menu is "inspired by Saint Augustine – a patron saint of brewing – and the region where he lived, and accented by flavors such as preserved lemon, harissa, and saffron.”
Does that mean a Middle Eastern menu? No word, but we can expect great coffee from local roastery Tiny Footprint, plus house-made dog treats!
So, make that a laundromat bar bakery where you can bring your pooch. What’s next, Twin Cities?!
Expected to open in October
1668 Selby Ave., St. Paul
There is a new Karta Thai location in the works for a new residential building in St. Anthony Park, St. Paul. The space is on Como Avenue between Carter and Doswell (that’s near Muffuletta and the second outpost of Colossal Cafe).
The building is still under construction, so no word on opening dates, but hooray! Thai in St. Anthony Park! Karta Thai has two other locations, one in northeast Minneapolis and another in Columbia Heights.
That same residential building will also house a chocolate store called Knoke’s Chocolate and Nuts, which has been operating a flagship store in Hudson, Wisconsin for 16 years, and specializes in handmade chocolates, roasted nuts, and baked goods.
Longtime and beloved St. Louis Park neighborhood bar Bunny’s is opening a second location, this one in northeast Minneapolis. They’re shooting for a November opening.
34 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis
Nicollet Avenue’s Bad Waitress diner and coffee shop is also getting a Northeast location, in a new apartment complex project called 700 Central. The new location will be larger and also offer a full bar.
Opens in November
700 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis
In more excellent news for east St. Paul, University Avenue’s Ha Tien Market and Grocery is opening a Suburban Avenue location. The Vietnamese deli and grocery is known for its excellent banh mi sandwiches, whole roasted ducks, BBQ ribs, and comprehensive selection of Southeast Asian groceries.
Expected to open this fall
1959 Suburban Ave., St. Paul
Inver Grove Heights is still waiting patiently for 123 Pasta, the delayed project by the people who bring you Grand Avenue’s La Grolla. The owners are waiting to get parking issues ironed out, and then hopefully South St. Paulites will be busily slurping pasta and floating on the fragrance of garlic permeating the neighbhorhood.
6508 Cahill Ave., Inver Grove Heights
In a move that seems long overdue, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is moving into the Mall of America, in a whopping 10,000 square foot, 315-seat space that includes a “Porch of Indecision,” lots of frozen boozy drinks, and menu items such as “hand-battered chicken tenders, volcano nachos, and Landshark Lager Fish & Chips." Because booze should go into your food, too, not just your cocktail glass.
Now, where in the hell is that shaker of salt?
Grand opening September 20
Mall of America
Target Center is going chef-driven and global, hiring longtime local chef David Fhima (Faces Mear's Park) as a consulting chef.
According to press materials, the new menu items will “focus on using the best possible ingredients, which include clean, local, organic and non-GMO when possible. There will also be a focus on creating a more global menu that reflects the thriving international food scene in the Twin Cities. The process will be chef-driven, with David in-arena for every home game and other local chefs making appearances throughout the seasons to provide custom menu items for a particular night.”
The new food offerings will phase in gradually. The suite level has undergone renovations over the summer and so has the menu. As the renovation moves to the concourse level, the strategy will be to begin the new menu for the concession offerings prior to the Timberwolves' 2017-18 season.
600 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis
Don’t let the snap in the air fool ya. There’s still plenty of time for street food. On September 24, get to downtown St. Paul for the inaugural St. Paul Food Truck Festival, with over 30 food trucks, live music, beer, and all the rest.
221 5th St. E., St. Paul
Saturday, September 24
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Admission is free, wristbands to gain access to beer for purchase are $2 and proceeds go to benefit Feed My Starving Children.