Food trucks tend to congregate on key downtown Minneapolis streets. Now they're following the same pattern when they go the brick-and-mortar route.
O'Cheeze (ocheeze.com), the three-year-old enterprise that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches (in all their buttery, gooey, toasty goodness), is the latest to land a permanent berth.
Co-owners and spouses Haley and Tony Fritz just signed a lease on the skyway level of the Baker Center's Roanoke Building (705 Marquette Av.), next door to fellow food truckers Vellee Deli and Green + the Grain.
The space will include seating for 30 and feature an expanded menu, one that will start with grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches (think huevos rancheros-style grilled cheese, and other egg-boosted ideas) as well as a larger lunch menu: twice as many soups and sandwiches, and a wider range of dairy-based desserts, including cheesecakes, flans and custards. The target opening date is early June.
On the horizon
The second iteration of Crisp & Green (428 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-545-5120, crispandgreen.com), restaurateur Ryan Burnet's health-focused fast-casual restaurant, is scheduled to open March 9 in the former Sapor Cafe and Bar space.
The original Colossal Cafe (1839 E. 42nd St., Mpls., 612-729-2377, colossalcafe.com) is moving. On March 31, father-and-daughter co-owners John and Elizabeth Tinucci will close their tiny restaurant, with plans to reopen this spring at a larger space — with a patio — at the former Pilgrimage (2403 E. 38th St., Mpls.). Although plans haven't been formalized, the Tinuccis have a new concept in the works for the 42nd Street building.
The restaurant project that Lyn 65 (6439 Lyndale Av. S., Richfield, 612-353-5501, lyn65.com) colleagues Ben Rients and Jose Alarcon announced last fall? It has a location: a 100-year-old building (712 15th Av. NE., Mpls.) across the street from Indeed Brewing Co. And a name (well, two). Popol Vuh will be the 56-seat upscale Mexican restaurant (wood-fired grill, and a bar emphasizing mezcal and, hopefully, Mexican wines), and the casual Central at Popol Vuh will be what Rients describes as "a honky-tonk with tacos and oysters, perfect for the neighborhood." October is the target opening date.
Signs of spring
Here's a reliable indication that spring is on its way: The Harbor View Cafe (314 1st St., Pepin, Wis., 1-715-442-3893, harborviewpepin.com), a daytripping destination for Twin Cities diners since 1980, will be opening for its 38th season on March 17, serving lunch and dinner Friday through Sunday. Hours will expand in late April.
The charming Empire Room (215 S. Main St., Alma, Wis., 1-608-685-9669, empireroomalma.com) is scheduled to reopen March 15, serving lunch Wednesday through Saturday, dinner Wednesday through Sunday and Sunday brunch.
Hello, lavender-ginger cookies: The Smiling Pelican Bakeshop (W3556 State Hwy. 35, Maiden Rock, Wis., 1-715-448-3807) is reopening April 7.
Chef Shack Bay City (W6379 Main St., Bay City, Wis., 1-715-594-3060, chefshackranch.com) returns the following week, serving dinner Friday and Saturday and Sunday brunch starting April 14.
Dine out for a cause
On March 15, a dozen-plus Twin Cities restaurants will be donating a percentage of their sales to benefit the nonprofit Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. They include Common Roots Cafe, Pizza Nea, World Street Kitchen, Reverie Cafe + Bar, Sen Yai Sen Lek, Birchwood Cafe and more. For information, go to restaurantsrising.com.
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