Getting ready to say ‘goodbye’ to Heidi’s

Heidi’s (2903 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., owners Stewart and Heidi Woodman are calling it quits. The restaurant is closing its doors on New Year’s Eve.

The talented couple opened the original Heidi’s Minneapolis in 2007 in a slip of a spot at 50th Street and Bryant Avenue S. in Minneapolis, and it was an instant hit. The restaurant was destroyed by fire in February 2010, and less than a year later the Woodmans took their vision to Lyn-Lake, creating a singular four-star experience. The closing is a major loss for the Twin Cities dining scene.

“I’m ready to take on a different kind of challenge, expand my repertoire and explore a different type of cuisine,” said Stewart Woodman. “We’ve been living this wonderful experience, but it’s time to grow and develop different ideas.”

He said more details are a bit down the line. “But there are a lot of players involved and at this point it’s an open dialogue,” he said. “We’re trying to reimagine who we are and what we want to do. I’m very excited.”

Fans will be relieved to learn that the kitchen will be offering a greatest-hits roster — including mussel soup and lobster pappardelle — during the restaurant’s final months. One value-conscious way to experience Heidi’s is via one of the city’s great early-bird specials, a three-course pre-theater dinner for $28, served Tuesday through Sunday for parties seated before 6 p.m. Don’t miss it.


Shutdown blues

When the Blue Plate Restaurant Co. was launching the Lowry (2112 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., in 2011, the state government shutdown delayed the opening by three expensive weeks.

“A license was sitting on someone’s desk,” said co-owner Stephanie Shimp.

Now the partial federal government shutdown is putting a wrench in plans for the Freehouse (701 Washington Av. N., Mpls.), the company’s North Loop restaurant and brew pub, set to open in early December. Brewmaster Tim Piotrowski was hoping to start making beer — he’ll feature six varieties at a time — next week.

There’s just one problem: Brewers’ licenses are issued by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which has been closed since Oct. 1.

So, no brewing, although the equipment is at the ready (including a new North Loop landmark, a distinctive grain silo, just outside the front door). Until the government reopens, the company continues to work on contingency plans.

“We’ve been reaching out to some of our friends in the industry to see if they’re able to contract brew for us,” said Shimp. “Opening a brew pub without your own beer isn’t exactly ideal.”


Season’s end in the parks

Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet, Sandcastle at Lake Nokomis and Tin Fish at Lake Calhoun have all closed for the season. But Sea Salt Eatery (4801 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls., in Minnehaha Park will remain open through Oct. 27.