Nearly two years after it was announced, Keg and Case Market (928 W. 7th St., St. Paul, kegandcase.com), a food-focused shopping and dining destination in the former keg house of the historic Schmidt Brewery complex, is nearing completion.
The transformative project will include several restaurants and a brewery, plus a few dozen smaller culinary-minded tenants, many occupying stalls that measure roughly 10 feet square.
Developer Craig Cohen released the names of nearly 20 tenants; a few more remain in negotiations.
The project’s major anchor is In Bloom, a two-level setup from Revival and Corner Table co-owners Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone. The restaurant, which is organized around a massive wood-burning hearth, will also feature a substantial patio on the building’s 7th Street side.
In addition, the duo will be creating a version of Revival. No details yet, other than that the Keg and Case edition won’t serve the restaurant’s signature dish — fried chicken — and “Revival” will be part of its name.
The market’s other major restaurant tenant is Pimento Jamaican Kitchen (pimentokitchen.com), a casual favorite to diners on Eat Street in Minneapolis.
Five Watt Coffee (fivewattcoffee.com) co-owners Lee Carter and Caleb Garn will make Keg and Case Market home to a third coffeehouse, their first in St. Paul.
Also crossing the river and heading eastward is Rose Street Patisserie (rosestreet.co), where baker John Kraus (he’s also the force behind Patisserie 46) plans to serve a selection of breads, pastries, sweets and off-the-beaten-path teas.
Haley and Tony Fritz, the couple behind the O’Cheeze and Dough Dough food trucks and counter-service cafes (in downtown Minneapolis and Mall of America, respectively), are launching Gazta and Enhancements (gaztaandenhancements.com), a cheese bar that will focus on cheese plates, wine, beer and cocktails, and include a grab-and-go cheese counter.
Green Bee Juicery (greenbeejuicery.com) is a cold-press operation that incorporates local produce and nut milks. Owners (and siblings) Melanie Madden, Mallory Madden and Michaela Madden Smith operate a shop in south Minneapolis.
One of the market’s biggest talkers is bound to be Spinning Wylde, a popular cotton-candy pop-up that co-owners Tevy Phann-Smith and Ben Smith are taking the brick-and-mortar route (the business is named for their son, Wylde). The formula is simple: organic cane sugar, plant-based dyes and a long list of intriguing and appealing flavors that include morel mushroom, honeydew melon, tamarind, lavender, Earl Grey and marshmallow.
Sweet Science Ice Cream (sweetscienceicecream.com) owner Ashlee Olds will open a scoop shop in the market, her second in St. Paul; the first recently debuted in Como Park.
Mike Kempenich — known as the Gentleman Forager to metro area chefs — will operate Forest to Fork (forest-fork.com), a wild-foods grocer that will feature mushrooms cultivated on site as well as berries, nuts and greens. There will be reserved and pickled foods, too, plus custom-made knives.
Hobby Farmer Canning Co. co-owners Jeff Cerise, Chuck Hermes and Tod Novinska are launching their own retail outlet for the pickled vegetables they’ve been selling at farmers markets and supermarkets; look for the addition of switchel, a fermented, vinegar-based beverage that’s mixed with water.
At House of Halva, Liz and David Kadosh will place sesame halva, the gluten-free delight that’s basically the chocolate chip cookie of the Middle East, into the spotlight, with certified-kosher variations on that delicious theme.
K’nack will feature cured and smoked meats (natural casing wieners, smoked bratwurst, salami and other specialty sausages) from RJ’s Meats (rjmeats.com), a family-owned landmark in Hudson, Wis.
Croix Valley (croix valleyfoods.com) owners — and serious barbecue enthusiasts — Lu and Damon Holter will be selling their line of barbecue and grilling sauces, dry rubs, marinades and Bloody Mary seasonings, along with limited runs of seasonally inspired (and locally sourced) seasonings and sauces.
Varietal honey, beeswax candles and raw honey skin care products will be the centerpiece of Worker B (worker-b.com). Evla Pottery (evlapottery.com) will be familiar to Grand Avenue and Minneapolis Farmers Market Annex shoppers, featuring functional, handmade ceramics and porcelain by potter Michael Coon and paintings by his spouse and business partner, Kimberly Christenson. Another retailer: Studio Emme (shopstudioemme.us), the Minneapolis-based florist.
Finally, Max Boeke and Jordan Standish are bringing Schmidt back to its beer-brewing roots. Their watch-them-work Clutch Brewing Co. (clutchbeer.com) will focus on ales and lagers and will occupy a major slice of the building’s mezzanine, with a taproom overlooking the ground-floor market.
The market is housed inside an airy, light-filled structure with a 40-foot ceiling. Studio M architects of Minneapolis has retained and accentuated the building’s industrial appearance. There’s also a large outdoor events and gathering space, as well as free parking.
When the market’s doors open in late summer — the date hasn’t been set — the roughly 30,000-square-foot facility will be nearly fully occupied.
“If we had another 10,000 square feet, we would have leased it,” said Cohen. (By comparison, the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis covers roughly 75,000 square feet, and an average Target store occupies about 130,000 square feet.) “There are a lot of people who want to be in the market. I think we’ve curated it well, too. Everyone is passionate, and I love that.”
The project is part of an ongoing restoration and reinvention of the venerable Schmidt complex, which languished for nearly a decade after the final industrial tenant, an ethanol producer, moved out. Much of the brewery, parts of which date to 1855, is now occupied by 260 artist residences.
“You can’t find a property like this, anywhere,” said Philip Gagne, a former Schmidt employee who is now Keg and Case Market’s director of operations, as well as the site’s unofficial historian. “It was never dead. It always had a pulse. It was just taking a nap, and waiting for Craig.”