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Why are the pizza gods smiting south Minneapolis?

Northern Fires won't land on Lake Street after all.

Northern Fires won't land on Lake Street after all. Northern Fires Pizza

Is it an astrological phenomenon? Is the moon in grain bowl, or something? Have the gods decided they're anti-pepperoni?

Seriously: Why doesn't the universe want south Minneapolis to have more pizza?

Over in Kingfield, as reported earlier this week, some vandal's been bashing in the windows at Good Times, the pizza tavern that was supposed to open last fall. The smashings started in January and haven't stopped, with owner Franz Gilbertson telling CP that someone broke two more last week and another Monday. 

But wait! There's more bad news!

Not long after Good Times started setting up shop last October, Northern Fires Pizza announced it was headed for 4301 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis. The popular purveyor of wood-fired pies -- already a hit at local farmers markets (Mill City, Nokomis, Kingfield) -- was supposed to open by February

It hasn't opened yet. And unlike Good Times, which Gilbertson's still trying to make work, it won't. 

Northern Fires chef-owner Arie Peisert says that in this case, the bank lobbed the financial equivalent of a brick through his window. They procrastinated on his paperwork, dragging out the process for more than six months, and eventually told him he'd need someone to guarantee more than a million dollars -- 10 times their initial estimation. 

"I had started to spend money on the space: down payment, environmental fees, architect fees, title fees, and lawyer expenses," Peisert says. "The attempted expansion set me back a lot of money, but now looking back I don't think the space was meant to be for me."

If there's a silver lining to be gleaned, it's that the debt he accrued lit a (northern) fire under him, and he aggressively pursued new opportunities for 2019. He met the folks at Bang Brewing in St. Paul -- Minnesota's first organic brewery -- and a collaboration between the two made a ton of sense, since Northern Fires uses local, organic ingredients and heritage wheat. 

Thanks to the second oven at BB, Peisert and co. are slingin' slices five days a week. Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. you'll find them at the Nokomis Farmers Market, and they're at Bang Brewing from 4 'til 9 Thursday and Friday. Saturdays the pizza pops up at the Mill City Farmers Market (8 a.m. until 1 p.m.) and Bang Brewing (2 to 9 p.m.), and they double up on Sundays too, with the Kingfield Farmers Market (8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) followed by Bang Brewing (noon to 5 p.m.).

(Find a full list of upcoming events here.)

Peisert hasn't wholly given up on the permanent location thing, either: "I'm always looking for ways to expand the business, which may be a brick and mortar," he explains. "But for now, I have a great seasonal food business that has grown every year since 2015."