The owners of Hark Cafe, the vegan, gluten-free cafe in the Warehouse District, have announced they will close April 28 and transition to a commercial kitchen/catering operation.

It's been a tenacious three-year run for owners Lisa Neumann and Katherine Pardue. The self-described best friends met in college and eventually launched the homey cafe with plans to serve early morning coffee and baked treats, late-night cocktails and everything in between. But the road hasn't been easy.

The duo signed a lease for the space just before March 2020, when a statewide mandate shut down restaurants for indoor dining. Hark Cafe opened in January 2021, during a time marked by uncertainty for the hospitality industry, and made headlines as one of the first businesses in the metro area to require customers to provide proof of vaccination.

Even with the challenges of trying to get into a regular service rhythm, the cafe gained a reputation in gluten- and cruelty-free dining circles for incredible ice creams, veggie-packed sandwiches and delightful sweet treats.

According to a social media post, the bakery will transition into "catering and wholesale, and by custom order, as well as monthly/holiday treat presales."

The cafe (430 1st Av. N., Mpls., is still open for breakfast through lunch until its last day.

West End's new Punch Pizza opens April 30

It's an even dozen restaurants for the Twin Cities' favorite Neapolitan pizza chain. Punch pizza's newest location opens April 30 near Costco in St. Louis Park (5799 W. 16th St., The first restaurant opened in St. Paul in 1996 with distinctive Italian-style pizzas that are cooked in just 90 seconds. The thin, gently charred crust, served with a variety of traditional toppings, has become popular across the Twin Cities with its slow and steady growth. The new outpost boasts a menu stacked with the favorites fans have come to know and love.

Speaking of Punch locations, St. Paul fans who still stare lovingly at the dark Highland Park location will want to know that there still are no publicly known plans for reopening. It's no longer listed as a location on the website, but the FAQs assure us it will reopen. Someday.

Chimborazo's second location opens in St. Paul

Northeast Minneapolis' beloved neighborhood eatery Chimborazo has officially expanded to the Capitol city. Its second location is now open in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood, off Lexington Parkway, in the retail complex adjacent to Trader Joe's. The Ecuadorian restaurant has been a mainstay in northeast Minneapolis for 15 years. The new outpost will serve a similar menu of Ecuadorian cuisine, including slow-roasted meats, sandwiches, soups and more. Stop by at 508 S. Lexington Pkwy.,

Minne's on Glenwood reopens with a mission

Minne's on Glenwood in Minneapolis' Harrison neighborhood is hosting a reopening celebration on May 4. The restaurant started as a food truck and expanded into the permanent location earlier this year, serving floats, Chicago dogs, burgers, fries, onion rings and more.

The eatery also aims to uplift its community with a Pay It Forward Board, where guests can buy a meal that's served to a hungry neighbor. Said owner Cordell Richardson: "We bring a beacon of light to this neighborhood feeding every guest with our secret ingredient of kindness."

The grand reopening celebration (1825 Glenwood Av., Mpls.) is from noon to 5 p.m., with live music, raffles, games and more.

Lowertown favorite expands hours for Farmers Market season

Saint Dinette in Lowertown just announced expanded hours that include opening at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays this summer. The sit-down restaurant is just around the corner from the St. Paul Farmers Market and hopes to lure shoppers with its bites and a grocery valet service. Folks can pop in after buying their market goods and drop bags at the host stand, where the items will be cared for while diners choose between French toast with honey butter or a breakfast double cheeseburger. (Don't worry, there's a salad, too.) Saint Dinette is at 261 E. 5th St., St. Paul,

Ann Kim's new hit restaurant is now taking reservations

Kim's, the new Korean-American restaurant in Uptown from James Beard Award-winning chef Ann Kim, has announced that reservations are now available. The formerly walk-in-only restaurant, called "bold, flavorful and personal" in a February review by the Star Tribune, opened late last year with lines out the door and nary a reserved table in sight. Now, planners can book a table, and there were even a bunch open as we published — and before word got out (1432 W. 31st St., Mpls.,

Dashfire in the THC beverage business

For those who like to celebrate like it's 4/20 every day, Dashfire has two new canned THC beverages hitting the market. The ready-to-drink beverage, bitters and liqueur company introduces two new beverages, the dark cherry-juniper Bramble and the spicy passion fruit margarita, each with 5 mg of THC. They're available at select Twin Cities liquor stores as well as at Dashfire's Elusive botanical bar (1620 Central Av. NE., Mpls.,

Spoon and Stable snags prestigious award nomination

Tales of the Cocktail announced its Regional Top 10 Honorees for the 18th annual Spirited Awards last week, and Gavin Kaysen's Minneapolis restaurant Spoon and Stable (212 N. 1st St., Mpls., was the only Minnesota restaurant to be recognized in the Best U.S. Restaurant Bar–U.S. Central category. Winners will be announced during the annual Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans July 21-26.