Tyler Shipton, one of the opening chefs at Minneapolis' Borough, has opened a new eatery in the picturesque town of Lanesboro, Minn.

Shipton, along with partner Ame Putman, opened Juniper's ( 109 Parkway Av. S., Lanesboro) in the former Riverside on the Root. The two-story restaurant serves a focused menu of dishes like pork Bolognese over Aliment pasta, roasted mushroom soup and a double-decker smashburger.

It's a homecoming for Shipton, who returned to his family's farmhouse after years of working oceanside in San Diego. "My family has been here since before the railroad came through town," he said.

The pandemic forced him to return home for a recalibration, which included time walking in the woods and working at Estelle's Eatery & Bar in nearby Harmony, Minn. It was while working alongside Matt Brown, another chef who left city life to put down roots in a more rural setting, that the idea of buying a business came to him.

"One day we were just rolling egg rolls and a woman from the bank came in and said they had a building they were looking to sell," said Shipton.

Juniper's, named after the couple's daughter, is a cozy space that will go from 36 seats in the winter to 150 in the summer, with two balconies, a patio and a deck overlooking the Root Rriver. Hours are 4-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat.

Saji-Ya closes ... temporarily

After more than 40 years on St. Paul's Grand Avenue, Saji-Ya (695 Grand Av., sajiya.com) will serve its final meal in its original location on Dec. 31, temporarily closing to make way for a new project that will replace the building containing Saji-Ya, Dixie's on Grand and Emmett's Public House.

The five-story, 80-unit mixed-use building on the lively thoroughfare is planned to reopen in 2023 with a newly designed Saji-Ya on the ground floor. The new development will also have indoor, ground-level parking and large windows with Grand Avenue views.

The historic restaurant founded by Tatsuya Saji and Kiminobu Ichikawa, both born in Japan, was the first to serve sushi in St. Paul. Saji-Ya is open 5-9 p.m. Tue.-Sat., and 4:30-8:30 p.m. Sun. Reservations are available for the final month of service at sajiya.com.

Duluth's Best Bread looks to expand

The tiny west Duluth European bakery known for its gooey cinnamon rolls and fresh bread is eyeing a second location.

Brothers Michael and Robert Lillegard say they have maxed out the production abilities at their current Duluth's Best Bread location (2632 W. 3rd St.) and plan to expand to downtown Duluth, taking over the building being vacated by Blacklist Brewing (120 E. Superior St.). The new location would be four times the current bakery space and allow for expanded production, plus a coffee shop, patio space and the opportunity for further growth.

The bakery has launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign, enticing would-be contributors with free treats, personalized desserts and even oven-naming rights.