Nightlife: A new chapter for XYandZ

  • Article by: TOM HORGEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 19, 2012 - 5:23 PM

The smart little art gallery bids farewell this weekend. Also on the agenda: Two spinoffs (Masu and Rusty Taco) open their doors.

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"Free Range" by Broken Crow is one of the pieces featured in the exhibit "We Did What We Could."

After Saturday's closing-night party at XYandZ Gallery, Minneapolis will be without one of the best and most daring tastemakers in our art scene. But not for long. Bigger plans are in the works.

Before I get to that, let's give this south Minneapolis gallery a proper sendoff. The small but ambitious space on Minnehaha Avenue is closing after three years, but not without a worthy finale. Over the past month, fans have been treated to Broken Crow's exhibit "We Did What We Could" (very apt, yes?).

While John Grider and Mike Fitzsimmons, the large-scale stencil muralists behind Broken Crow, shrunk their bold visuals down to gallery-sized canvases, their love for all things beastly -- lions, wolves, penguins and a crazy monkey -- was as dramatic as ever. Saturday's closing party will include music, drinks by the North Star Bartenders Guild and art projects for kids.

The gallery was started by a group of street-art enthusiasts led by Mike Bishop. Working with his creative agency, Permanent Art and Design, along with curator Tricia Khutoretsky, XYandZ has had a great run of solo-artist shows that proved to be a springboard for a lot of talent.

The same can be said for Khutoretsky and company. The curator says the gallery's closing is more celebratory than sad.

"We've outgrown it in a way," she said. "We need a bigger space."

Which brings us to those big plans. Later this year, Khutoretsky and Permanent will partner on a new art space called Public Functionary (these guys and their names!). While details are under wraps, Khutoretsky said this new art fortress will include a larger exhibit space and much more. Stay tuned.

Masu x MOA

While many bar/restaurants like to highlight all the new bells and whistles when opening a second location (see item below), the brass at Masu say its Mall of America sequel is virtually identical to the original. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

The MOA location will open Sunday on the third floor next to Tony Roma's. The menu is the same, save for a few additions such as Takubetsu na men (a noodle bowl special that changes daily). The bar, which won't be tucked into the corner as it is on East Hennepin, will serve 24 sakes, six craft drafts and the same great gummi cocktails.

Now open: Rusty Taco, with booze

What could be better than $2.50 hand-made tacos? Well, $2.50 tacos and a margarita, obviously. That's how I would sum up the second Twin Cities location of Rusty Taco, which opened Monday with a full liquor license on East Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.

The original spot in St. Paul only has beer and wine. The new Rusty, next to the former site of Wilde Roast Café, is serving up margaritas, beer and (in the future) specialty tequila. There's no bar, so you have to order your booze at the counter. If beer is your thing, the quick-service spot has four tap beers including a Fulton, plus a bottle list and 24-ounce cans of Dos Equis and Tecate. Look for a patio before too long.

 

ithorgen@startribune.com • 612-673-7909 • Twitter: @tomhorgen

  • XYANDZ CLOSING PARTY

    When: Noon-8 p.m. Sat.

    Where: 3258 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls.

    Admission: Free.

    Info: www.thexyandz.com.

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