Rod Raymond and Tim Nelson, co-owners of Duluth's landmark Fitger's Brewhouse (600 E. Superior St., www.brewhouse.net), are purchasing the historic North Loop building that last housed Trocaderos (107 3rd Av. N., Mpls.) and plan to open a branch of their 19-year-old brewpub.
"Our goal is to bring a taste of northern Minnesota to the heart of downtown Minneapolis," said Raymond.
So far, not a lot of details, in part because the opening won't happen until late fall or early winter. "What we do know for sure is that it's going to be a neighborhood place, like the Brewhouse," said Raymond. "We're going to have some fun with it."
The basic plan is to feature six to eight house-brewed ales, along with food and live music, in a dramatic setting; the brewery will be built around the former Trocaderos stage, and the roomy music listening room is going to be rechristened the Beer Hall.
One tiny hitch: The brewery won't be up and running for the first six months of operations, thanks to the high demand -- and subsequent long waiting list -- for brewing equipment. Until then, the bar will import ales from Fitger's brewmaster Dave Hoops.
On the food side, there's not a lot that has been figured out, although Raymond said they'll offer many of the beer-friendly classics served in Duluth, including Fitger's famous wild rice burger.
The duo also own Duluth's Burrito Union, Redstar and Tycoons Alehouse & Eatery.
Their Minneapolis venture will have a "warehouse/industrial" look (designed by Locus Architecture of Minneapolis), said Raymond, along with outdoor seating, possibly even a rooftop component. "We have to figure out if that's practical and doable," he said.
Like so many other details, a name hasn't been hammered out. "Keep in mind, this is a work in progress," said Raymond with a laugh. "Who knows? Tomorrow we could be a lutefisk restaurant."