Where's the beef? These restaurants opened and closed in January.


RIP RIP RIP Instagram / @mercado

Oh that beef? She gone. Just up and quit town, folks!

Looking back—heck, even in the midst of it—this January was a rough one for the Twin Cities' food and dining scene.

Also, this new fun thing started to happen, where restaurants are saying they're neither closing nor staying open, just taking a little breather. Sometimes that breather would last for days; a couple are still holding that line now!

Everyone (us included!) will have to stay tuned to see how those play out...

And yes, we're including these first few because closing during the holidays isn't sneaky; we see you.

  • Supatra's Thai Cuisine (12/28): The St. Paul standard shuttered this winter when owners accepted an offer to sell their 15-year old business.
  • JL Beers (12/29) closed its doors in northeast Minneapolis after six years pouring pints, directing customers to their Burnsville location. 
  • Lyn-Lake's HIckory n' Hops (12/30) aka the former Lyndale Tap simply never returned from an "extended Christmas break."
  • Salty Tart (12/31): The last remaining outpost of the bakery closed at year's end in order to become the new home of True Stone Coffee Roasters' first public-facing cafe (see below).
  • Mercado (12/31), Jester Concepts' taco joint on the ground floor of a Lyn-Lake condo, declined to renew its lease at the New Year.
  • Just after the stroke of midnight (1/1), Sanctuary earned its sweet slumber after more than 12 years of lauded service.
  • "Ultimate Vikings bar" Erik the Red issued "not a goodbye but a see you later," announcing they'd close (1/1) in order to relocate to south Minneapolis' Lowa46.
  • Reds Savoy Uptown (1/7): It just plain ceased to exist. The end.
  • Downtown Minneapolis' CityWorks sports bar closed (1/8), took its ball, and went home.
  • After a decade in Kingfield, Blackbird Cafe quit (1/8) when "no matter how much we tried, it just wasn’t enough to keep this place relevant."
  • Ike's downtown's owner Gene Winstead says talks to renegotiate its lease with the landlord failed. (1/15)
  • McKinney Roe (1/18): Rebranding from upscale eatery to Irish pub wasn't enough to keep the doors open.

Welcome to the world, precious!

Welcome to the world, precious! Courtesy True Stone Coffee Roasters


  • Uptown Pizza is baaaack! (House rules say we're counting it.)
  • just/us is "hard open" as of 1/10 (though it's been "soft" for a whole month), including fully functioning in its new capacity as a hybrid gastropub-venue (Ditto here.)
  • Phi Chay Thai has opened in the former Supatra's Thai spot in St. Paul.
  • True Stone Coffee Roasters cafe has assumed the former Salty Tart location in Lowertown, featuring brunch, baked goods from Vikings and Goddesses, and breads from Lowertown Bakehouse.
  • Unleashed: Hops and Hounds debuted just yesterday, serving suds and snausages for humans and their favorite floofs alike.

Just Playing Dead?

  • Right after their extended Christmas extravaganza, Betty Danger's (1/1) pulled the rug out from under everyone, announcing The People's Country Club would be on hiatus until April.
  • The Bartmann Group's restaurant on Loring Park, The Bird, posted a notice on its door stating it would be taking the month of January off. We only noticed mid-January…

On that note, February is nigh…