Ever since Eat Street Social and Icehouse freshened up the post-Azia intersection of 26th Street and Nicollet Avenue last year, Azia’s shuttered corner space has been even more conspicuous. But Eat Street Buddha Kitchen Lounge is looking to revive the south Minneapolis location.
Co-owner Michael Tupa — who also owns numerous suburban bars, including several Wild Bill’s Sports Saloons — is planning to bring Asian fusion back to the old Azia digs, according to city documents. The location has been vacant since 2010. The documents indicate that Eat Street Buddha Kitchen Lounge intends to have late-night DJs Tuesdays through Saturdays. The Asian fusion/lounge concept sounds pretty much identical to what beleaguered restaurateur Thom Pham had with Azia. But if the new tenants can make an equal-or-greater cranberry cream cheese wonton, who’s to complain?
While Minnesota has plenty of bun-in-the-oven breweries, Wisconsin’s Pitchfork Brewing Co. is the latest to pop. Owners Mike and Jessie Fredricksen and Sarah and Jason Edwards open their Hudson taproom Sunday. Pitchfork plans to run an environmentally friendly brewery where head brewer Mike Fredricksen will go pro with his 20-year homebrewing hobby. Initial offerings include the Pitchfork Pale Ale, American Gothic IPA, Thistle Scottish Ale, Silo Flaked Barley Stout, Barn Door British Brown Ale and a few firkins. The married couples’ taproom will be open Wednesday through Sunday, making it a nice detour on Minnesotans’ border-crossing Sunday liquor-store runs. (Noon-5 p.m. Sun., 709 Rodeo Circle, Hudson, Wis., www.pitchforkbrewing.com)
Everybody’s going cray for crayfish these days and Bachelor Farmer hosts its second annual Kraftskiva, a traditional Swedish crayfish fiesta, on Saturday. Aside from a cache of crustaceans, the outdoor crawdad get-down features local brews, chilled aquavit and music from DJ Jonathan Ackerman, Joey Ryan & the Inks, the Cloak Ox and a surprise guest. (5-10 p.m. Sat., $4 cover, 50 2nd Av. N., Mpls., 612-206-3920, www.thebachelorfarmer.com.)
For more block-party fun, bounce across the river for Red Stag Supperclub’s free open-air fete. The zero-waste event features live music from Bad Bad Hats, Actual Wolf, Gramma’s Boyfriend, Eleganza!, Greg Grease and All Tomorrow’s Petty, and performances by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, dance crew Epitome No Question and more. (5-10 p.m. Sat., 509 1st Av. NE., Mpls., 612-767-7766, www.redstagsupperclub.com.)
In the wake of a June 9 shooting around 1:20 a.m. that left one man wounded, the downtown Minneapolis Pizza Lucé is ratcheting up late-night security for the rest of the summer. Staff will conduct pat-down searches of male customers (an electronic wand will be used for women) after midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, and patrons under 21 will not be admitted after midnight Friday through Sunday, according to city documents. The pizzeria already collects a prepay food/beverage charge after bar close Fridays and Saturdays.
Following in the footsteps of the national craft beer movement, micro-distilleries are sprouting up nationwide. Minnesota’s been behind the curve, but a handful of hooch-making entrepreneurs look to change that. Shanelle and Chris Montana of Du Nord Craft Spirits are planning what would be the first micro-distillery in Minneapolis proper. The husband-wife team has launched an Indiegogo campaign to help start their Longfellow-based operation. Using ingredients from Shanelle’s family farm in Cold Spring, Du Nord plans to make vodka, gin, an apple whiskey and eventually bourbon. The couple hope to open their distillery for tours and samplings early next year.
No longer will Uptown carousers have to choose between last call and a slice of Mesa Pizza. The Lake Street sister restaurant to the popular Dinkytown pie shop recently was granted a license change allowing it to stay open until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. ... The Twin Cities needs another IPA like it does a lake (there are worse problems). But Summit is showing a sense of humor about its latest hopped-up contribution. Cheekily dubbed Another IPA, the newest beer in its Unchained Series, which gives Summit’s brewers complete creative license, rolls out this week.
Michael Rietmulder writes about bars, beer and nightlife.