A new post near the Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium around will open today, Thurs. Oct. 6 for happy hour.
After a week of scrambling to complete the space and finalize everything, Forsberg and Co. are ready to execute what they’re calling a “soft opening” with a limited menu tonight. The restaurant will be unveiled in full on Monday.
“It was a wild, snap decision to open today,” general manager Teri Downing said, after noting the team was at the location until 4 a.m. Thursday morning putting the finishing touches on the spot. “We’re excited.”
The identity of the restaurant, named after the notorious Norwegian Viking, will be what they’re calling “Minnesota barbecue” or, as they’re already fond of saying, “Barbarian barbecue.”
What exactly does that mean, you ask?
Well, it means meat, meat, MEAT.
Chef Tim Iverson will churn out slabs of bacon – if you’ve ever had the desire to order bacon as your meal, this is the spot – along with smoked brisket, braised lamb shanks, massive turkey legs, barbecued salmon, short ribs, sandwiches wrapped in lefse and smorgasbords stocked with lox and accoutrements. All of the capital-M meats will be smoked and cured in house.
“Everything is going to be big and on the bone,” said Downing. “When you walk in, the place is going to be all wood, leather and people running around in red-and-black flannel.
“It’s smoky, it’s got that Nordic feel.”
One feel it will not have is that vegetarian-friendly feel. If you’re vegan, you might want to remain at least 50 yards away – even the cole slaw is mixed with chunks of bacon love.
And don’t worry, there will be ample options for washing it all down: Erik the Red will have 20 beers on tap, including a specially made brew bearing the new spot’s name – a red ale featuring New Zealand hops and Belgian malt with notes of blackberries and thyme -- and another Erik the Red exclusive in the Nordic Pils, a European bohemian pilsner. The bar also will pour the special brews from Dan Kelly’s – Scotch Stout, a blonde stout, and the Devil’s Advocate IPA and Porter. All of those beers are made for Forsberg’s restaurants by Crazy Mountain Brewery in Denver.
Oh, and keeping in the tradition of making everything Viking-sized, the joint also plans to serve up 24- and, yes, 32-ounce “bomber cans” of beers, too.
“You can have a 24-ounce beer and a 2-pound turkey leg,” assistant general manager Alek Hipp-Faragher said. “Everything is big.”
The spot boasts 14 televisions in the main bar area – just in time for NFL Thursday night football and the start of the MLB’s division series – with plans to add more to the back bar. The team is clearly embracing its proximity to NFL madness (notice all the “Vikings” nods, anyone?) but they’re hesitant to call themselves a sports bar.
“We kind of wanted to get away from the Hubert’s feel,” Hipp-Faragher said. “We didn’t want to be another hamburger joint, a place with ‘game-day food’ – there is a lot over here.
“But we do understand the Vikings stadium is a huge facet of this neighborhood.”
(Photo above: Erik Forsberg at Devil's Advocate; photo credit Marlin Levison.)