Openings, openings and more openings
Aki’s Bread Haus (2506 Central Av. NE., Mpls., www.akisbreadhaus.com), the permanent retail setup for farmers market baker Joachim “Aki” Berndt, is now serving German breads, pretzels and sweets, along with coffee, starting at 6:30 a.m. weekdays and 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
While keeping his sunny storefront well-stocked, Berndt is also maintaining his farmers market schedule: Tuesday afternoon at the Minnetonka Farmers Market (14600 Minnetonka Blvd., starting July 1), Wednesday afternoon at the Brooklyn Park Farmers Market (8717 Zane Av. N.), Thursday afternoon at the Maple Grove Farmers Market (12951 Weaver Lake Rd.) and Saturday at the Hopkins Farmers Market (9th Av. near Mainstreet).
Mattie’s on Main (43 SE. Main St., Mpls., www.mattiesonmain.com) has opened in the Riverplace space that was most recently home to Kikugawa, and next door to its sibling establishment, Wilde Roast Cafe (65 SE. Main St., Mpls., www.wilderoastcafe.com).
The bar is serving craft cocktails and ice cream drinks, with the kitchen specializing in pizzas, burgers and house-made pizza rolls. Lunch and dinner are served daily, with weekend brunch coming soon.
The former Heidi’s is now host to Lago Tacos (2901 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., www.lagotacos.com), a branch of the Excelsior tacos-and-beer-and-margaritas joint serving lunch and dinner daily, along with weekend breakfast.
On the doughnut beat, Dunkin’ Donuts is returning to Minnesota this month, although Twin Citians will have to travel to Rochester for their fried-dough fix. The chain, which operates more than 10,000 locations worldwide, is opening a franchise on June 28 in the landmark Kahler Hotel (20 2nd Av. SW., Rochester, www.kahler.com).
Surly taps Solera chef
Jorge Guzman, chef at Solera (900 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., www.solera-restaurant.com), has been tapped to oversee the restaurant, beer garden and event center at Surly Brewing Company’s mammoth facility now under construction in Minneapolis’ Prospect Park neighborhood.
“A big part of the destination brewery experience will be our craft-beer-inspired food, so we knew we needed to put just as much focus on our kitchen and staff,” said Surly president Omar Ansari in a statement. “Our executive chef will be the ‘head brewer’ of our beer hall, restaurant and event space. We are excited to add Jorge to the Surly team and immerse him in our world of beer.”
Guzman has been running the Solera kitchen for three years. He’s also a veteran of Corner Table and the former Tejas.
Eight-year-old Surly expects to relocate from its Brooklyn Center home to its new Minneapolis digs later this year, opening the $30 million facility in stages. First up will be a casual beer hall with a 300-person capacity, scheduled for early 2015. The 175-person event center, 100-seat restaurant and two-acre beer garden will follow.
“We’re going to push the envelope with our beer-inspired foods using locally sourced, sustainable ingredients,” said Guzman in a statement. “We’re not going to sit back.”
A Gray day in Lyn-Lake
Gray House (610 W. Lake St., Mpls., www.thegrayhouseeats.com) chef/owner Ian Gray is pulling the plug on his two-year-old Lyn-Lake gastropub, but there’s still time to get in and enjoy his remarkable, hyper-seasonal cooking.
“The last day of the lease is July 31st, so we have about two months,” he said. The short reason for the closing is that the business partnership — which includes Gray, his ex-spouse and former father-in-law — is breaking up.
“We could have stayed,” said Gray. “But the lease came up, and it made me feel like I’m not running away from something, but running toward something new and fresh.”
Moving forward, Gray is forming a collaboration with colleagues Kiri Anderson and Jessica Knettel, and they’re scouting locations, including sites in northeast Minneapolis. “But nothing is set in stone,” he said.
In the meantime, get down to Lyn-Lake and enjoy Gray’s $20 three-course dinner, an exercise in creativity and value that’s served Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Museum restaurant on summer break
What is it with Minneapolis museum restaurants?
First the Walker Art Center’s Gather drops its lunch service. Now Grain Stack (2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls., www.artsmia.org), the newly remade restaurant at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts — and a significant improvement from its predecessor —is on a summer vacation.
“Our new food service model is based on being financially sustainable, so when our traffic is slower (such as this summer), we won’t operate the mezzanine-level restaurant, as it would require us to subsidize the operation and that is not the best use of our contributed resources,” reads a memorandum to museum staff and volunteers.
The restaurant is managed by Stock and Badge, the partnership between Dogwood Coffee Co. and Rustica.
Fear not, hungry art lovers. During the warm-weather hiatus, Stock and Badge’s other MIA food-and-drink operations will remain open, including the Dogwood Coffee bar (and its great two-for-one craft beer happy hour) and the family-friendly, grab-and-go Half Pint, both in the museum’s lobby.