Lyndale Avenue having its dining heyday

Further confirmation that Lyndale Avenue in south Minneapolis is fast becoming a culinary destination is the news that pals Lorin Zinter and Jim Christiansen are converting a former laundromat and breakfast joint into Heyday.

As little as six months ago, the property, on the southwest corner of Lyndale and 27th Street, was being eyed as a location for a Trader Joe’s.

That proposal fell through, and now the somewhat down-on-its-fortunes structure is getting a thorough makeover, inside and out.

“It’s essentially going to be a new building when it’s finished,” said Zinter. “It’s being gutted down to the studs.”

The plan, more or less, is that the laundromat side of the building will house the full-service bar, and the footprint of the former Sunny Side-Up Cafe will house the Heyday dining room.

“It’s probably going to be 40 percent bar and 60 percent restaurant,” said Zinter. “It’ll be a spot where you can drop in a few nights a week, or for a special occasion.”

Christiansen and Zinter have been scouting sites for nearly three years for their long-planned collaboration.

“I can’t even begin to count the number of places we looked at,” said Zinter. “Dozens and dozens.”

The duo met in that great Groveland Avenue talent incubator known as La Belle Vie (510 Groveland Av., Mpls., Zinter was in the front of the house and Christiansen was in the kitchen when the four-star restaurant made the move from Stillwater to Minneapolis in 2005.

When La Belle Vie chef Tim McKee was tapped to reinvent the Guthrie Theater’s ground-floor restaurant in 2009, creating Sea Change (806 S. 2nd St., Mpls.,, both Zinter and Christiansen were recruited to play a major role in getting that venture off the ground.

Zinter is now working as the food and beverage director at the Minneapolis Club, and Christiansen just left his position as executive chef at Union (731 Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-455-6690,

No specifics on the food, yet— Heyday isn’t set to open until early December — but Zinter said that the menu will be determined by “what Jim is inspired by at the moment,” he said. “I’m just excited to help Jim showcase what he does so well.”

Meanwhile, Matt Dickhausen and Lucas Almendinger have been promoted to lead the culinary team at Union; both have been at the restaurant since it opened in November.


Enlightened legislation

In the closing hours of its 2013 session on Monday, the Minnesota Legislature passed a provision that will allow the city of St. Paul to issue a wine and malt liquor license to the rathsekeller-style cafeteria in the State Capitol’s basement.


Daytrip destination

Those in search of a culinary road trip, consider Tansy’s on Main (115 N. Main St., Alma, Wis., New ownership has remade the former Currents, with lunch Wednesday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday.