If your New Year’s resolution is to eat good food, you’re in luck. The restaurant openings coming in 2020 — that we know about, anyway — prove the Twin Cities food scene’s stellar rise should continue into the next decade.
On the docket are big names who are increasingly gaining national recognition. Like Sean Sherman, who is planning to open two Minneapolis restaurants in 2020 that focus on Native, North American cuisine. First, the Indigenous Food Lab will be a nonprofit restaurant, as well as education and training center. The second will be a year-round restaurant in Water Works Park on the Mississippi River.
Young Joni’s Ann Kim will expand her Vestalia Hospitality empire (with husband Conrad Leifur) with the tortilla-centric Sooki & Mimi, which takes over a storied Uptown address: the former Lucia’s.
“This won’t be your typical taqueria,” Kim told the Star Tribune in July. “I have fun ideas for incorporating the flavors of our terroir into creating a new way of eating Mexican food.”
Daniel del Prado, 2018’s Star Tribune Chef of the Year, plans to take over the space neighboring his Colita for an as yet undefined new restaurant. Drinks, of course, will be designed by del Prado’s partner in all-things-fermented, Marco Zappia.
The chef/owners of Travail played an ambitious game of restaurant chess in 2019 (see the Star Tribune’s Chefs of the Year story for more on that at Startribune.com/taste), with the ultimate goal of opening a multistory, immersive dining experience in a space they built from the ground up. Construction delays pushed the opening to March, making it one of the New Year’s most anticipated. Their goal: to bring home Minneapolis’ first Michelin stars.
Tried-and-true eateries we know and love are multiplying, too. Edina’s getting an outpost of St. Paul’s Pajarito. Southdale will have a Rustica bakery very soon. Billy Tserenbat of Wayzata’s Sushi Fix is planning a May opening of a new sushi restaurant in the North Loop (in the former Sweet Chow space). Though we’re sad to see Spoonriver go, its replacement for the Mill District of Minneapolis offers an exciting combo: The Birchwood Cafe and the Minnesota Farmers Union are delivering year-round access to their winning State Fair partnership. Pearl & the Thief will finally bring St. Paulite Justin Sutherland (our Rising Star Chef of the Year) west to Minneapolis.
And the food hall craze shows no signs of slowing down, especially with the expected opening of the Dayton’s Project in the former department store in the spring.