The former Legends building is getting new life, via some love from its neighbor.
Lipstick Pig (825 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., lipstickpig.com), a barbecue restaurant from the owner of Eli’s Food & Cocktails next door, will debut in the northeast Minneapolis space this summer, featuring around-the-country styles.
“The interesting thing about barbecue is the nuances,” chef and co-owner Jeff Weber said. “Everyone has their own style. We want to create an amalgamation of that.”
So expect several kinds of wood-smoked meats — spare ribs, brisket and prime rib among them — served alongside a host of sauces, including those inspired by eastern Carolina, western Carolina and Memphis ’cue. Oh, and besides a lineup of classic sides (coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad, perhaps, and the mac and cheese that has gained a following at Eli’s), Weber plans to feature a few other elevated vegetable-based items — think “smoked cauliflower.” Patrons can order inside the full-service restaurant or from a takeout counter with a separate entrance.
“Some barbecue lovers say, ‘Don’t even try to barbecue vegetables,’ ” Weber said. “But it’s a different time. Vegetables are in the forefront of a lot of people’s diets right now.”
There will be a full bar, as well, with a notable draft system featuring 10 beers, five wines and five cocktails. But despite the new-wave selection, the vibe will be decidedly old-school. Expect to see a pulltab booth on the main dining floor and meat raffles, bingo nights and live music in the basement on weekends.
“For the most part, we want it to be a restaurant but we want to have some fun with it, too,” Weber said. “We want to kind of keep the Northeast bar spirit alive.”
But before he can do that, there’s significant work to be done in the way of renovations and repairs. The cooler systems, the bar and the bathrooms all need to be torn out and redone, Weber said, and he and his team will be redoing the walls with metal paneling. Eventually, the restaurant should hold about 120 seats, include a 22-seat bar.
“The building was a little neglected,” Weber said. “But whatever you do to a building, it’s still a building. Just like whatever you do to food, it’s still food.
“Basically, we’ll be putting lipstick on a pig.”
New ownership at Wilde Cafe & Spirits
Wilde Cafe & Spirits (65 SE. Main St., Mpls., wildecafe.com), a coffee shop and restaurant on St. Anthony Main, has changed ownership but will keep its name and its look.
“We want to keep the look, the environment, mostly the same,” said Kim Anderson, who now owns the restaurant along with partner Daniel Dominik. “But we plan to freshen up the menu. With spring coming up we want to give it a new feel.”
Anderson has also hired a new chef — Jordan Hagemann, formerly the sous chef at Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille (Minnetonka), Eli’s Food & Cocktails and McGary’s Pub (Maple Plain). But regulars, don’t fear, some popular dishes — including the artichoke dip, the pot roast and much of the brunch menu — will likely stay, Anderson said.
Kings Wine Bar has closed
A Kingfield neighborhood favorite has shuttered its doors after nearly a decade. Kings Wine Bar (4555 Grand Av. S., Mpls) announced its goodbye in a Facebook post recently.
“It is with a heavy heart that we accepted an offer to sell the restaurant,” it read in part. “It is very bittersweet.”
The restaurant, which opened in 2009, was known for its robust wine and beer list and pan-Asian cuisine. Its last day of service was Saturday.
New at Target Field
The Minnesota Twins unveiled their new food and drink offerings for the 2018 season on Monday, along with a new restaurant concept.
Bat & Barrel, a space that offers five distinct areas showcasing local restaurants, breweries and distilleries, replaces the Metropolitan club, and will be open to all ticket holders. A small-plate area will have offerings from Ike’s (Tavern Burger), Red Cow (Tennessee Hot Chicken sandwich), Baja Haus (ceviches) and others, while an entree section offers the likes of Murray’s blue cheese-crusted, bacon-wrapped tenderloin and Red Rabbit’s chicken Parmesan, among other dishes. There are also various bars within the space, including a cocktail lounge featuring Tattersall Distilling libations and colorful banquettes. There are a number of new items in the concourse, as well, and a new beer wall inside Gate 34 featuring 22 different beers on tap, including Surly’s new Cut Down IPA, a collaboration with former Twins pitcher Glen Perkins.
Seward Community Co-op is partnering with Dream of Wild Health — a Native American-led nonprofit farm and youth leadership program — to host a Farm Table dinner featuring indigenous ingredients.
During the event at the Creamery Cafe (2601 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., coopcreamery.coop) on April 17 (6-8 p.m.), guests will enjoy a three-course meal while hearing stories of Dream of Wild’s work. Tickets start at $40; purchase at eventbrite.com.