The northeast Minneapolis space that was home to Popol Vuh is coming back to life, with a fast-casual cafe/bakery/market called ViV!R (1414 NE. Quincy St., Mpls.). It will operate as a companion to Popol Vuh’s original sibling, taco-centric Centro.
Chef/co-owner José Alarcon, with pastry chef Ngia Xiong, will offer seasonally minded dishes along the lines of kale salad with poblano-avocado dressing, steak chilaquiles, ceviche and all-day breakfast.
The pastry counter will feature mole chocolate cupcakes, tres leches cake, cinnamon rolls with guava paste and cream cheese icing, sweet and savory empanadas, a handful of breads and other favorites.
The bar will continue its emphasis on Mexican wines and agave spirits. ViV!R will also include a coffee program, with a focus on traditional cocoa drinks.
A retail marketplace will stock Mexican textiles and foods, along with housemade salsas, sauces, candied nuts, snacks and grab-and-go items. Other merchandise will include pottery, kitchenware and greeting cards created by northeast Minneapolis artists. Look for a September opening.
Gandhi Mahal has found a temporary home, while the restaurant — destroyed by fire in the Minneapolis riots — rebuilds.
Owner Ruhel Islam has signed a lease on the former Chef Shack Ranch, at 31st and E. Franklin avenues.
As the E. Lake Street restaurant smoldered after a night of unrest following the police killing of George Floyd, Islam’s daughter Hafsa overhead her father saying, “let my building burn, justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail.” Hafsa posted the quote on Facebook and those words reverberated nationwide.
Since then, the Islam family and community members in the area of the original restaurant, close to the fire-damaged Third Precinct, have been meeting to come up with a plan to rebuild, which could take three to four years. In the meantime, the restaurant will open in its temporary home by September.
A popular downtown Minneapolis brunch spot is back after a five-month closing, and it is even packaging up its over-the-top Bloody Mary bar and mimosa bar to go. Hell’s Kitchen (80 S. 9th St., Mpls.) began curbside pickup Aug. 6 with an all-day brunch menu, lunch items, take-and-bake meals, and even a make-your-own peanut butter kit.
Fans of the underground restaurant’s famed “Jacked Up” Bloody Mary bar might be wondering how such an extravagant build-your-own adventure gets packaged into a takeout container. “We’re trying to send everything out the door,” said assistant general manager Billy Schoenburg.
Wooden skewers, rim salt and a vast assortment of garnishes come with the housemade Bloody Mary mix and a six-pack of light beer to be used as chasers, or mixed in.
The mimosa bar also gets the takeout treatment, with a bottle of sparkling wine and four juices, plus fresh fruit and a candy store’s worth of sweet treats.
Kits are $25 each and make four servings. Curbside pickup is available Thursday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The North Loop classic the Monte Carlo (219 3rd Av. N., Mpls), a Minneapolis fixture since 1906, closed in mid-March for the first time in its more than 100-year history. It reopened last week for limited inside and patio dining daily from 2 to 11 p.m.
“We didn’t close during either of the wars,” said Twin Cities restaurateur and owner John Rimarcik, who bought the place in 1982. “We are open 365 days a year. People need a place to go during the holidays.”
Around the corner, the Hewing Hotel’s popular rooftop patio/lounge is now open to all guests Tuesdays-Sundays from 5 p.m. to midnight. (300 Washington Av. N., Mpls.). The rooftop offers a chef’s selection of bites and cocktails, as well as weekend brunch. The on-site restaurant Tullibee will return at a later date.
Vote for your favorite plant-based dishes in the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge. For the rest of the month, stop into a dozen restaurants to try new vegan menu items. Share photos of those dishes on social media using #tcveganchef to vote for your favorite; the chef with the most votes gets a trophy and $250.
Participating restaurants include Shish and the Naughty Greek in St. Paul; and Reverie and Namaste Café in Minneapolis. More info at exploreveg.org.
Staff writer Alicia Eler contributed to this report.
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