With its refreshed look complete, Nicollet Mall will soon be getting a major new culinary landmark driven by a major local name.

Andrew Zimmern — the producer, creator and host of Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods" and a self-described adopted Minnesotan for more than 25 years — is teaming with the Dayton's Project ( to debut a new food experience inside the historic site that formerly housed Macy's.

Dayton's Food Hall & Market is expected to debut in mid-2019.

A market will be split between two floors at 700 Nicollet Mall, which was Dayton's department store for more than a century prior to Macy's. Food vendors, purveyors of goods like meats and seafood, baked items and artisanal cheese will be sprinkled throughout the 40,000-square-foot space.

Robert Montwaid, creator and co-founder of Gansevoort Market in New York City, is also a partner.

"There is so much energy around this project and this building that it's a thrill to continue Dayton's legacy by contributing innovative ideas around food," said Zimmern, who is also a chef, writer and teacher, in a press release. "The Twin Cities food scene is constantly evolving, always exceeding the country's expectations of a Midwestern city, and is a marvelous amalgam of many diverse culinary cultures. This project is a great example of what I think will bring a fresh perspective and authentic cultural influences to a beloved local landmark building."


Duluth restaurateurs Eric and Lynn Goerdt announced this week that they're closing their Northern Waters Restaurant (1608 Woodland Av., Duluth, northernwaterssmoke on Dec. 31.

Located in the city's Mount Royal neighborhood, the restaurant opened in March 2016 as a more ambitious sibling to the couple's wildly popular Northern Waters Smokehaus, a deli and sandwich shop in the city's Canal Park district. Not to worry: Northern Waters Smokehaus, located in the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace, isn't going anywhere.

In the Twin Cities, after nearly three decades, a beloved Dinkytown coffee shop will be shuttered.

Espresso Royale (411 14th Av. SE., Mpls.,, one of the regional chain's three Minnesota outposts, will close later this month due to ongoing deterioration of the building and managerial shortages.

The other two Minnesota locations — in St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis — will close, as well.

Fresh, hot bakeries

Two new bakery outposts have debuted in the Twin Cities this month.

First came the latest project from Salty Talt (, opening on Dec. 1. Pastry chef and owner Michelle Gayer, opened a bakery/cafe serving breakfast and lunch at Market House Collaborative (289 E. 5th St., St. Paul) — a Lowertown enterprise that also includes a full-service restaurant (Tim McKee's Octo Fishbar), a butcher shop (Peterson Craftsman Meats) and a fish market (Almanac). Salty Tart also has locations at the Midtown Global Market and Minneapolis-St. Paul Interrnational Airport.

In Minneapolis, Sift (4557 Bloomington Av. S., Mpls., welcomed customers to its new brick and mortar shop last weekend. The exclusively gluten-free bake shop, owned and operated by baker Molly Miller, sells muffins, coffee cakes, breads and other pastries, and has been a regular at area coffee shops for a few years.

Skyway sipping

It's a rarity: The skyway has a new bar. Sphere Kitchen + Bar (100 S. 5th St., Mpls.,, a small cocktail lounge on the second floor of the Fifth Street Towers, debuted last month, completing the building's two-year, multimillion-dollar renovation.

The bar, operated by Hemisphere Restaurant Partners, features a round skylight that mimics a sphere.