Restaurant year in review

  • Article by: RICK NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 26, 2013 - 10:15 AM
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Ann Kim, owner of Hello Pizza in Edina.

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Goodbye, Heidi’s

It was an annus horribilis for Stewart and Heidi Woodman. Birdhouse, their casual Uptown restaurant, closed in June after a yearlong run. In October, their four-star Heidi’s closed, a few months shy of its third anniversary at Lyn-Lake (its original home at 50th and Bryant in south Minneapolis was destroyed by fire in 2010).

 

Rise and fall

It was a roller coaster year in the bakery world. Closings included Sweets Bakeshop, the Bikery, Jack’s Bakery, Pardon My French and the short-lived rebirth of BC2. Jerabek’s New Bohemian closed and reopened.

Fortunately, the sad news is far outweighed by a record number of openings. Glam Doll Donuts brought fanciful deep-fried temptations to Eat Street’s early birds and later-night-ers. Fred Mische and Mandy Chowen revived their rural Minnesota artisan breads (and sweets) business, relocating it to an industrial park in Eden Prairie and calling it, naturally, Fred’s Bread. A franchise of Las Vegas-based Nothing Bundt cakes also chose the southwest suburb for its first Minnesota location, which specializes in, yes, Bundt cakes of all stripes.

Cupcake veteran Alicia Hinze paired with business partner Jennifer Lueck to launch the Buttered Tin, immediately turning Lowertown into a breakfast/lunch/bakery destination. Cossetta Alimentari debuted its extraordinary Pasticceria, a haven for Italian pastry and gelato lovers.

And in St. Louis Park, baker Anne Andrus (teaming up with business partner Emily Ackerman) began embracing her love for all things Midwestern — pies, coffee cakes, butter-packed cookies and breads — at Honey and Rye Bakehouse.

Cupcake expanded twice, moving into Eagan and St. Paul, Cocoa & Fig launched an Edina branch and Chez Arnaud found a downtown Minneapolis outlet for its éclairs, tarts and croissants at the French Corner Bistro & Bakery.

Bakerypalooza is showing no signs of stopping. In 2014, real estate broker Kelly Olsen is reviving Anoka’s fabled Hans’ Bakery, Sugar Love Bakery will materialize in Woodbury in mid-January, Bars Bakery is launching an outlet on the skyway in downtown St. Paul, Patrick and Azita Bernet are branching out their Patrick’s Bakery & Cafe with a Maple Grove outlet and Bogart Loves baker Anne Rucker is launching Bogart Doughnut Co.

 

End of an era, times three

The lights went out on three long-running local icons with a collective 232 years of service: Peter’s Grill (age 99), Serlin’s Cafe (age 67) and the River Room (age 66).

A classic, officially

In May, the James Beard Foundation bestowed 59-year-old Kramarczuk’s with its “America’s Classics” award, which honors “restaurants with timeless appeal and that are beloved for quality food that reflects the character of their community.” “This award doesn’t belong to me,” said second-generation owner Orest Kramarczuk. “It belongs to my parents, and my children, and whoever is going to come after that. It belongs to all of us.”

 

Was it something we said?

Primebar called it quits in March, ending a tenure that lasted less than eight months. The Calhoun Square restaurant and bar — the work of Chicago-based Restaurants-America — is preceded in death by Il Gatto and Figlio.

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