Counter Intelligence: Birdhouse, Biella, Nectar close

  • Article by: RICK NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 7, 2013 - 9:29 AM

Three closings

Stewart and Heidi Woodman of four-star Heidi’s (2903 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., www.heidismpls.com) have pulled the plug on Birdhouse, their year-old version of a casual, natural foods-focused diner in Uptown Minneapolis.

“It’s with heavy hearts that we share that Birdhouse restaurant will close today,” said Woodman in an e-mail on Monday. “We thank all of our customers who dined with us there over the past year. Unfortunately, foot traffic has not been steady enough to keep our doors open.”

Also closed: Nectar, the dinner-only gem in downtown Osseo, the result of a lease dispute. Chef/owner Kevin Nordeen said he’s scouting new locations.

Another suburban closing, this one set for June 24, is Biella (227 Water St., Excelsior, www.biella-restaurant.com). “After months of working to try to move Biella to the corner I have decided to close after a great 10-year run,” said owner Mark Nazigian in a statement.

Now open, opening soon

On the debut side of the spectrum, there’s Terzo (2221 W. 50th St., Mpls., www.broders.com), which was scheduled to quietly open Wednesday in the space that was most recently Pierre’s Bistro.

It’s a fitting name. Terzo is Italian for third, and the wine bar (which is pouring 50 Italian wines by the glass and tapping 10 beers) is the third business at Broderdale (a k a the 50th-and-Penn intersection in south Minneapolis), following in the footsteps of Broders’ Cucina Italiana and Broders’ Pasta Bar, all the work of the enterprising Broder clan.

“It’s a total family affair,” said Molly Broder, and she’s not exaggerating; all three of her sons have immersed themselves in the project. “Charlie has developed an amazing wine list — we have been stockpiling wine for a while to get ready for this — and the menu that Thomas and Danny have developed is a great expression of the next generation of Broders’ food.”

Farmers aren’t the only ones getting a late start this spring. Galaxy Drive-In (3712 Quebec Av. S., St. Louis Park, www.galaxy-drivein.com) opened for the season Tuesday, under new management: the Green Mill (www.greenmill.com) family of restaurants.

The change means a new staff and a new menu, including an amusingly over-the-top burger that skips the cheese in favor of deep-fried cheese curds. “It’s phenomenal,” said Green Mill CEO Paul Dzubnar. “It’s a heart attack, so make sure you take your blood thinner before you eat one.”

Speaking of opening dates, Marin Restaurant & Bar, going into the former D’Amico Kitchen space in the Le Meridien Chambers hotel in downtown Minneapolis, will begin its daily breakfast-lunch-dinner service on June 23. The restaurant is the work of Mill Valley Kitchen (3906 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, www.millvalleykitchen.com) owner Craig Bentdahl and chef Mike Rakun.

Career change

At Bar La Grassa (800 Washington Av. N., Mpls., www.barlagrassa.com), chef Erik Sather — who has been a part of the team at the four-star restaurant since it opened in the fall of 2009 — is making a career change. Starting June 24, he’s going to become a familiar face to Seward Co-op (2823 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., www.seward.coop) shoppers as the store’s meat and seafood manager.

“He and his wife are expecting a baby and feel that a Monday-through-Friday day job will be more conducive to starting a family,” said BLG chef/co-owner Isaac Becker. “Nancy [St. Pierre, Becker’s spouse and business partner] and I will miss him dearly, along with the entire staff that loves and respects him. He opened Bar La Grassa with us and is responsible for a lot of the success that restaurant has enjoyed over the years.”

Sather is being replaced by longtime sous chef Aaron Slavicek.

RICK NELSON

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