Parka calling it quits

Just as Minnesotans are getting into overcoat mode, Parka (4021 E. Lake St., Mpls., is going away.

This diner is bummed by the news. “I am, too,” said co-owner Greg Hoyt. “But not enough people are rewarding us for what we do.”

The not-quite-two-year-old restaurant, which shares space with Forage Modern Workshop, is a collaboration between Dogwood Coffee Co. and Rustica.

The space isn’t going dark. Hoyt & Co. are rebranding it as a Dogwood Coffee bar, and it will feature a full line of the company’s trademark carefully prepared brewed beverages, along with Rustica pastries, sweets and sandwiches.

Parka’s last meals will be served on Sept. 21, and the space will close for a week for renovations.

“We want to give it more of a coffeehouse feel,” said Hoyt.

One major change will be placing a wall to cover the now-open kitchen. Hoyt said the facility will probably be repurposed as a Rustica baking site.

“They’re just bursting at the seams,” he said.

An Alma pop-up

Restaurant Alma (528 University Av. SE., Mpls., is holding the first in a series of monthly bakery pop-ups on Sept. 21.

Pastry chef Carrie Riggs will be featuring sweet and savory galettes, macaroons, anise/cherry biscotti, a cookie she’s calling “Faux-reos” and a pair of breads, selling from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., “or until we sell out,” said chef/owner Alex Roberts.

The event is a preview of coming attractions for Cafe Alma, the restaurant’s casual counterpart, which is opening in 2015 in the next-door space currently occupied by Dunn Bros.

“We want to bring our ideas forward, but at the same time we want to learn what people are looking for in a bakery/cafe,” said Alex Roberts. “This is a huge, growing neighborhood, and to be successful, we have to serve the needs of the neighborhood. This is a great way to test recipes and meet people.”

The plan is to continue with monthly events through the end of the year, with gigs on Oct. 18 (cinnamon rolls and biscuits), Nov. 16 (Thanksgiving-related breads, rolls and pies) and Dec. 21 (Christmas cookies, breads and rolls).

Pop-up, part 2

Get a preview of what chefs Jamie Malone and Erik Anderson are planning for their Brut at a series of pop-up dinners held in the former Lynn on Bryant (5003 Bryant Av. S., Mpls.).

The four-course dinners (“Plus a few extras,” said Malone, including coffee) are $50 per person (with wine pairings an additional $25) and are scheduled for Sept. 19, 20, 26 and 27, with seatings between 6 and 9 p.m. Reservations at

“We are thinking of the dinners as a simple and fun version of what we hope to do at brick-and-mortar Brut,” said Malone. “We did them in August and really had fun.”

Opening soon

Le Town Talk French Diner & Drinkery (2707 E. Lake St., Mpls.,, the Gallic remake of the historic Town Talk Diner, is opening on Sept. 23.

Bottle shop news

Soda fans, take note: Whistler Bottling (1520 9th Av. SW., Forest Lake, www.whistler opens up its vintage watch-them-work factory store every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers can buy mix-and-match eight-packs or cases of the company’s 10 soda flavors, including root beer, pineapple, cherry vanilla cola and black cherry, all made using real sugar and bottled in returnable glass bottles.

Rick Nelson