South Minneapolitans have a new place to get their sushi and sake fix. The Kim Bartmann-affiliated Kyatchi is open on the increasingly taste-bud-friendly stretch of Nicollet Avenue south of Lake Street. Bartmann, the farm-to-table stalwart behind the nearby Pat’s Tap, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Barbette and northeast Minneapolis’ Red Stag, consulted on the 1,500-square-foot-restaurant, which trades in sustainable sushi and Japanese cuisine. Kyatchi is run by sibling owners Sarah and Sam Peterson, with the kitchen led by chef Hide Tozawa, who has slung sushi at Nami, Fuji-Ya, Origami and served as personal chef to Twins short-timer Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Sarah Peterson earned her industry stripes at Azia, Bar Abilene and Stella’s Fish Cafe, while her brother Sam managed First Avenue from 1996 until 2008. Kyatchi is open for dinner nightly and weekend lunch.

3758 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-236-4429,

One couple, three gins

Apparently one gin just isn’t enough for Joel and Emily Vikre. Last week the husband-wife team behind Du­luth’s Vikre Distillery officially debuted with three varieties of their Boreal gins: a juniper version, which Joel describes as a more traditional dry gin, the “herbal and floral” spruce, and a less conventional cedar-finished expression. Last year the couple moved from Massachusetts, where Joel apprenticed at Turkey Shore Distilleries, to Emily’s native Duluth to open their Canal Park distillery. “It’s an amazing, natural place to do it,” Joel said, citing Lake Superior water, homegrown cooperages and malted barley producers. The Vikres are waiting on label approval for their Ovrevann aquavit, which they plan to age in cognac barrels on ships traveling across Lake Superior — if not the Atlantic Ocean — though high-sea logistics are still in flux. Bourbon, high-proof rye and single-malt whiskeys are in the works.

Red-hot pokers

With any luck the roads won’t be as treacherous as they were last weekend, as beer fans prepare to head to New Ulm for Schell’s annual Bock Fest. Saturday’s midwinter beer bash goes down outside the brewery, with live music, bonfires and scalding pokers ready to caramelize your brew. As always, seven wooden goat heads will be hidden in nearby Flandrau State Park. If all are found, supposedly spring will come early (don’t worry, you can drink while hunting). Between Bock Fest and the town’s Fasching celebration (German Mardi Gras) at Turner Hall, New Ulm should be in full-on party mode.

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., $10, 21-plus, 1860 Schell’s Road, New Ulm, 1-507-354-5528,

Watch Oscars, raise money

While celebrities and sycophants file into Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre for Sunday’s Academy Awards show, the Aegis Foundation is bringing red-carpet glitz to Minneapolis. Billed as the longest-running official Oscar party outside of L.A., the 21st annual Oscar Experience Minneapolis takes over Muse Event Center for a swanky viewing party. Laura Schara and Christopher “the Makeover Guy” Hopkins host the black-tie-optional affair, which features live and silent auctions, guess-the-winner games and a three-course dinner for VIP ticketholders. All proceeds benefit Smile Network International and the Aegis Foundation.

5-11 p.m. Sun., $40 GA, $125 VIP, 107 3rd Av. N., Mpls.,


Hops love runs deep among Minnesota beer fans, and the Lyndale Tap House celebrates palate-destroying hop bombs Friday with its first-ever Hopocalypse event. The Lyn-Lake beer and pit-beef bar honors the double IPA with a concentrated tapping of imperial favorites, including Bell’s Hopslam, Lagunitas Sucks, Stone Ruination and more, starting at noon. Considering that these are high-ABV brews, anyone planning a lunchtime trip might want to consider taking the afternoon off.

Noon Fri., 2937 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-825-6150,


Michael Rietmulder writes about bars, beer and nightlife.