Here we go again, people. Is it possible that our new-and-coming-soon lists are getting more frequent and longer? Yes, it’s possible, and it’s true.
Our twin towns are bursting at the seams with new concepts and they’re getting ever more interesting: an Irish Pub with true-blue northern Irish cuisine, a games pub with an eye towards high design, a pizzeria in an old gas station, and lots (lots!) more:
The Seven Corners hangout with Coney Islands is back (again). The new ownership vows that they’ll keep the place as God intended: a real deal neighborhood sports bar with integrity and straightforward scratch bar eats.
1429 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis
Crepes Up Delicious
Why do people the world over flock to Paris, France rather than Minneapolis, Minnesota? Gay Paree has crepes on every corner, for starters.
But skyway crepes are a good beginning. Crepes Up Delicious recently opened in the Skyway level of the Canadian Pacific building, serving sweet and savory renditions of this very delicious floppy pastry. They’re being served in flavors like Nutella-banana, prosciutto-goat cheese, classic ham and Parmesan, and many more in the $6 to $8 price range.
Canadian Pacific Plaza
126 S. 6th St., Minneapolis
Punch Bowl Social
The pubs-with-games model is setting the bar a bit higher than the old-school yet beloved Chatterbox. At Punch Bowl Social, you'll find more than vintage Atari and tattered Monopoly boards. Here, there's shuffleboard, private karaoke, beautiful old foosball tables, vintage bowling, and a lot more, all in a high-design setting which they calling “dirty modern."
The menu is not an afterthought of stale popcorn and overcooked burgers, but a “gastro-diner” with superfood grain bowls, fresh juices, fried bologna sandwiches, and of course, a tricked-out burger. Plus, microbrews, natch.
Punch Bowl Social is a small chain with locations in all the cool-kid cities: Portland, Austin, Broolkyn, and others. And soon, Minneapolis.
Grand opening November 12
Shops at West End
Bark & The Bite at Sunny’s Market & Deli
Contributing to our quickly-growing BBQ scene, Bark & The Bite Food Truck is selling their smoked meats out of a counter space at Sunny’s Market and Deli in Northeast. We love this because it’s in the true spirit of BBQ, using small spaces or anyplace you can find to spread the gospel of Q. Lord knows some of the best BBQ is sold this way— out of parking lots, gas stations, and even car washes.
Sunny’s Market and Deli
2207 University Ave., Minneapolis
Speaking of re-inventing the gas station, big-time restaurateur Ryan Burnet (Burch, East Side, many others) is rehabbing an old Minnetonka gas station and turning it into a pizzeria. Not just any pizzeria, but one that slings serious New York City style pies, reports MSP Magazine.
Chef David Ellis is a dude who has worked all over, including some big time New York places, so chances are he knows what he's doing. This is excellent news because the only person we know of truly touching the NYC pie style right now is Ann Kim at Hello Pizza.
Open by the end of 2016
13008 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka
Herbies on the Park
The sports bar honoring Herb Brooks is but days away from opening, so get that two-fisted beer and burger grip ready. It's got a predictably Minnesota-style dude food menu (walleye cakes, wild mushroom risotto, steaks, burgers, etc.) And beer. Lots and lots of beer.
Opens September 24
317 Washington St., St. Paul
Third location for Sprout Salad Co.
The Twin Cities is getting another outpost of the fresh-tossed salad shop, Sprout Salad Co. It’s like Chipotle for salads, and pretty good, too. This time on the University of Minnesota campus.
309 Huron Boulevard, Minneapolis
The Hewing Hotel will be going into the North Loop’s historic Jackson Building, and like much of the North Loop these days, it seems designed with the discerning hipster in mind.
Here’s the good word on the eats: “A focus on hyper-local sourcing and partnerships with regional farmers, freshwater fisherman, and other local vendors, Hewing Hotel’s dining outlets pay tribute to Minneapolis’s Scandinavian roots in its soon-to-be announced in-house restaurant concept.
The hotel’s culinary offerings include a destination restaurant and bar adjacent to the first floor lobby, as well as a scenic rooftop terrace and bar that affords uninterrupted, scenic views of Minneapolis. Guests can expect a menu driven by seasonality, hearty vegetation, and sharable fish and meat, served from the restaurant’s wood-burning grill and oven.”
Look out, Bachelor Farmer.
Opens late fall.
300 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis
Another such boutique hotel project, Radisson Red is clearly aimed toward a more Millennial traveler, with ads starring a scruffy tattooed dude and encouragements to bring your dog to the room.
The hotel's food offerings, “Oui Bar & Ktchn” (we don’t know what happened to the vowels either) is being touted as “local and sustainable food with craft + coffee culture, and simple food done well.” We can definitely get down with that last part, in any case.
Opens late fall
609 3rd St. S., Minneapolis
Cooks of Crocus Hill North Loop
We were saddened by the demise of the sweet and special Local D’Lish, the little gourmet store that could, which stood in this North Loop space for seven years.
But the North Loop is big these days -- like, nationally big -- and so in come some bigger guys, Cooks of Crocus Hill, the longstanding Grand Avenue, Edina and Stillwater gourmet shop by the same name.
Opens September 17
Cooks of Crocus Hill North Loop
208 N. 1st St., Minneapolis
How many times does your mom have to tell you to eat your vegetables before you will believe there’s something to it? J. Selby’s is coming along to give you a little nudge. A vegan doctor is opening a new “plant based” restaurant, where veggies will be the main event, not the afterthought they sometimes are in omnivorous restaurants.
This St. Paul spot will recreate beloved dishes (pancakes!) as completely plant based. It's due to open by the end of the year, very near the also upcoming Tori Ramen, the only ramen restaurant we know of that will eschew pork broth.
169 N. Victoria St., St. Paul
Something in the 612 by Tim Niver?
Tim Niver might be St. Paul’s most celebrated restaurateur of the moment (Mucci’s, Saint Dinette, The Strip Club) and we think it’s high time he crossed the river. Niver recently hinted on Twitter that he’s got something Minneapolis-based in the works, but we couldn’t get him to confirm. We’ll just have to wait and see.
If the Glensman's concept of real-deal northern Irish food holds true then, holy buckets, are we on our way to a really and truly forward-thinking food city!
Irish pubs are one of the most overdone concepts in America, but the food often falls flat. We've suffered too many gloppy renditions of fish & chips and icky, bland corned beef.
Now, the hopefully-coming-soon Glensman tells the Pioneer Press that they’ll serve “traditional Northern Irish dishes like mackerel and prawns sourced and brought in fresh direct from Northern Irish waters.” Cool. Served, of course, with Irish beer and whiskey.
They’re still running a fundraising campaign, but they've already started construction on the old Cat Man Do space on Grand Avenue.
No word yet on opening date
1659 Grand Ave. St. Paul
More new life for the slowly-but-surely reviving Payne Avenue. A new “gastropub” style bar will go into the old Schwietz Saloon space, a classic East Side bar that was most recently and briefly in the hands of Ed Bertges, who died of lymphoma at only 39. It will be great to see the bar come back to life once again.
Opens in November
956 Payne Ave., St. Paul
The longtime but somewhat underground 128 Cafe in St. Paul is reinventing itself as Stewart’s. Or rather it's re-reinventing itself, because 128 was once upon a time Stewart's, a neighborhood cafe with a reputation that goes back with old-timers as far back as the 1960s, reports Eater.
Stewart’s will have a more casual bar feel with a full liquor license. It will retain its reputation for great cooking, with more sharable and small plates. We certainly hope they will keep their famous ribs.
128 Cleveland Ave., St. Paul