Michaels leaves LBV

It’s the end of an era at La Belle Vie. Bartender extraordinaire Johnny Michaels is no longer with Minneapolis’ fine-dining standard setter. LBV’s longtime drinks guru helped pioneer the Twin Cities’ cocktail renaissance and crafted bar menus for other Minneapolis hot spots, including Union and Icehouse. Michaels did not respond to requests for comment and details around his departure are slim. However, the influential bartender has recently been in talks with a local distributor regarding a retail line of bottled cocktails dubbed North Star Cocktails (also the title of his 2011 book). Its website touts several cocktails familiar to LBV regulars, including Night of the Hunter and Handsome Devil.

From wine to beer

Pizza-peddling brewpub Day Block Brewing Co. holds its grand opening Monday from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. The small-batch beer makers have moved into the old Spill the Wine space in Minneapolis’ Downtown East district after the vino parlor bolted for Uptown last spring. Day Block’s beer roster includes session and black IPAs, a porter, witbier, red ale and a pale ale made with hops from Forest Lake’s Hippity Hops Farms.

11 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, 1105 Washington Av. S., Mpls., 612-617-7793,


New lease in Northeast

Northgate Brewing is on the move. The year-old northeast Minneapolis brewery is sticking on the same side of town, moving into bigger digs at 783 NE. Harding St. Northgate has inked a 10-year lease on the 7,400-square-foot space with plans to open in late summer and add a new 20-barrel brewhouse. Northgate’s new home will allow the Wall’s End purveyors to open a taproom, which its current location lacks. The news coincides with the brewery’s first anniversary, which it’s celebrating with the Fiddle Smasher anniversary ale, with bombers hitting stores Monday and a single-keg tapping that night at Grumpy’s Northeast.

A Guild-ed party

In lieu of its belated New Year’s Eve bash for service-industry workers, the North Star Bartenders Guild is throwing a Winter Carnival party at Public Functionary on Saturday. Aside from cocktails devised by NSBG members, entertainment includes fortune tellers, burlesque dancers, drinking carnival games and more. A portion of the proceeds will benefit nonprofit Hold Your Horses.

9 p.m.-1 a.m., Sat., $5 NSBG members, $10 general admission, 1400 12th Av. NE., Mpls., www.nsbarguild.org