Big changes are coming to Stadium Village. Four neighboring restaurants, with a combined track record of 135 years in business, are closing. And soon.
The Big 10 Restaurant and Bar (606 Washington Av. SE., Mpls., big10restaurant.com), which has been serving subs and beer to U of M-ers since 1955, is closing Labor Day weekend. The restaurant’s Hopkins outlet will remain open.
The Village Wok (610 Washington Av. SE., Mpls., villagewok.com), a 41-year dining institution and favorite late-night Chinese food haunt, is closing Aug. 21.
Eight-year-old Bun Mi (604 Washington Av. SE., Mpls., bunmisandwiches.com) announced that it’s serving its last sandwich on Aug. 26. Until then, the restaurant will limit its hours to weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
And Espresso Exposé (600 Washington Av. SE., Mpls.), one of the city’s oldest coffeehouses, will end its 25-year run on Sept. 2. Its sibling operation, Dinkytown’s the Purple Onion, will remain open.
The restaurants’ Washington Avenue addresses occupy the site of what will be a 26-story, 438-unit apartment tower.
Mexican on W. 7th
The former Glockenspiel (605 W. 7th St., St. Paul) finally has a new occupant. When it opens this fall, Pajarito — that’s Spanish for “little bird” — will be the work of chefs Stephan Hesse and Tyge Nelson.
If those names sound familiar, they should. Hesse has been at the helm of Libertine (3000 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., libertinempls.com) since its inception in 2014, and Tyge Nelson has spent the past several years running Chino Latino (2916 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., chinolatino.com); he’s also the culinary talent behind the short-lived the Inn in downtown Minneapolis.
They’re promising a 127-seat casual neighborhood bistro and bar (run by bartender Kara Smith, of Cafe Maude and Libertine) focusing on modern Mexican fare and craft cocktails.
The Salt Cellar (173 Western Av. N., St. Paul) has closed, after a 20-month run. Expect it to reopen — under slightly different ownership — with a greater emphasis on the bar.
In Minneapolis, chef Hector Ruiz has pulled the plug on his short-lived La Ceiba (3500 Bloomington Av. S.), with plans to convert the restaurant into an events space.
Three big events
Tilia (2726 W. 43rd St., Mpls., 612-354-2806, tiliampls.com) is hosting its annual block party on Aug. 21. From 3 to 8 p.m., enjoy Tilia’s kimchi hot dogs, plus fare from Red Wagon Pizza, Terzo, Rose Street Patisserie, Rainbow Chinese Restaurant & Bar, just-opened La La Homemade Ice Cream and St. Genevieve. They’ll have live music from four bands, along with wines, six different craft beers “and loads of PBR” [aka Pabst Blue Ribbon], said chef/owner Steven Brown. “It’s like a warm-up for the State Fair.”
California’s Stone Brewing Co. is coming in for a landing in a major way at New Bohemia Wurst + BierHaus (8040 Olson Hwy., Golden Valley, 763-544-1882, newbohemiausa.com). The tap takeover on Aug. 28 will feature three dozen Stone favorites and rarities, along with a meet-and-greet with CEO and co-founder Greg Koch.
The fast-growing company — it’s gone from one to six outlets in four years — has two more locations in the pipeline: at St. Paul’s Seven Corners, and in one of the new Wells Fargo towers in the East Town area of downtown Minneapolis.
In the Time Flies department, food-trucking pioneer Chef Shack (chefshack.org) is marking its 10th birthday. Co-owners Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer are celebrating at their Twin Cities brick-and-mortar location, Chef Shack Ranch (3025 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., 612-354-2575, chefshackranch.com), on Sept. 1. From 4 to 9 p.m., meet in the parking lot for games (and prizes!) and live music, plus tacos, mini doughnuts and barbecue, in the form of ribs, brisket and pork shoulder. Beer, too.
“It’s going to be a big-old party,” said Summer.