December 2020

  • Openings
  • MrBeast Burger (Delivery only, mrbeastburger.com/) Another delivery-only restaurant from Virtual Dining Concepts (they're behind Mariah's Cookies, too) is linked to MrBeast, a YouTube stunt star and philantrhopist.
  • Crumbl Cookies (11623 Fountains Dr., Maple Grove, 763-777-7527, crumblcookies.com) Specialty flavors of big, decadent cookies rotate in and out each week at this to-go cookie chain that's new to Minnesota.
  • Mariah's Cookies (Delivery only, mariahcareyscookies.com/) Mariah Carey launched a delivery-only cookie company that kicked off Dec. 4 in 30 markets, including the Twin Cities, in partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts, restaurateur Robert Earl's portfolio of delivery-only brands that operates from existing kitchens throughout the country. In addition to five signature cookies (chocolate chunk, triple chocolate chunk, Heath Bar, lemon cooler and spiced oatmeal raisin), there are rotating flavors for holidays.
  • Hark! Cafe (430 N. 1st Av., Ste. 150, Mpls., 612-354-7098, harkcafe.com) A plant-based, gluten-free bakery and restaurant owned by two best friends, a baker and a chef, comes to the North Loop. Breakfast and lunch, weekend brunch (pancakes, oyster mushroom frittata) and baked goods such as bagels and brownies are available for takeout.
  • Side Hustle (1124 Payne Av., St. Paul, 651-508-1654, sidehustle.cafeastoria-stpaul.com/) The folks behind St. Paul's Cafe Astoria are in residence at Cook Saint Paul with a pop-up focused on Filipino cuisine, sandwiches and toasts and "bits in bowls." Open Tuesday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch.
  • The Cluckery (590 W. 79th St., Chanhassen, 952-934-6127, thecluckery.co) Tequila Butcher's new ghost kitchen makes chicken tenders and sandwiches, biscuits and sauces for delivery and pickup.
  • Machi Machi (2015 E. 24th St., Mpls. , 612-721-6677, unitednoodles.com/) Unideli, the popular ramen and barbecue pork counter inside United Noodles has closed. In it's place? Machi Machi, a Taiwanese tea brand with international outlets.
  • Wildflyer Coffee (3262 Minnehaha Av., Mpls. , wildflyercoffee.com/) Peace Coffee's 10-year-old south Minneapolis shop has gotten a makeover. The company has teamed up with Wildflyer Coffee, a Minneapolis-based specialty coffee company that works to provide job stability to homeless youth and end youth homelessness. The shop will employ at least 20 young people on an annual basis. Read our coverage here.
  • Tono Pizzeria + Cheesesteaks (1580 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul, tonomn.com/) Three years after the legendary St. Clair Broiler closed, a new restaurant is finally reviving the storied space on the corner of St. Clair Ave. and Snelling Ave. in St. Paul. Tono Pizzeria + Cheesesteaks opened its second location Dec. 5 in the spot that formerly housed the 61-year-old diner known for its burgers and malts. (The first location is in Maplewood.) Philly-style cheesesteaks and Sicilian-inspired thin-crust pizzas are on the menu. Read our coverage here.
  • Fire & Nice Alehouse (2700 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-259-8060, fireandnicemn.com) Nearly two years after a fire set back plans to open in the former Heyday spot, this pizza-and-beer restaurant has finally launched with thin-crust, woodfired pies to go. Pizzas are named after Minnesota icons: the Prince is topped with figs, gorgonzola and proscuitto; the Kirby Puckett with goat cheese cream sauce and spicy fennell sausage. Appetizers of roasted garlic cheese bread and roasted vegetables, and beer to go round out the menu. Opened Dec. 4.
  • Union Hmong Kitchen (693 Raymond Av., St. Paul, 612-431-5285, unionkitchenmn.com/) Union Hmong Kitchen has moved to Mid-City Kitchen for takeout and delivery until chef Yia Vang's restaurant Vinai opens in spring 2021. Look for the usual favorites, such as Hmong hotdish and sticky rice, plus spins on bar food like fish sauce-soaked chicken wings and the "Hilltribe" fried chicken sandwich. Relocated from its last residency at Republic, Dec. 4.
  • Bebe Burger (704 W. 22nd St., Mpls., bebezitomn.com) A weekend-only burger trailer outside the ice cream shop Bebe Zito has been drawing long lines for brisket-and-bacon patties topped with gooey American cheese, for only $5.95. Read our coverage here.
  • Whiskey and Soda (527 S. Marquette Av., Mpls., 612-688-4500, randtowerhotel.com/) A speakeasy-inspired bar at street level in the new Rand Tower Hotel focuses, obviously, on whiskey. In the center of the bar is a tower that will showcase dozens of varieties of whiskey. The opening menu will be an all-day, something-for-everyone format that will also be available as takeout. In spring, when Whiskey & Soda segues into its prescribed role as the hotel's lounge, the menu will evolve into a small-plates framework. Read our coverage here.
  • Med Box Grill (600 Market St., Chanhassen, medboxgrill.com) A longtime Turkish food truck in the Twin Cities has gone brick and mortar, with bowls and plates for doner kebabs, spicy chicken, falafel and more. Opened Dec. 1.
  • Closings
  • McDonald's (407 15th Av. SE., Mpls., mcdonalds.com) The iconic Dinktyown location of McDonald's has closed. Read our coverage here.
  • Truce (Multiple locations, Mpls. and Wayzata, drinktruce.com/) As of Dec. 20, Truce, the organic juice bar, has closed its three locations, in Minneapolis' Uptown and North Loop and in Wayzata. "The juice business is not an easy one, and we simply cannot see a path forward without compromising the integrity of our values or product, especially given the pandemic-led uncertainty ahead," the company said in a statement on its website.
  • Lat 14* (8815 7th Av. N., Golden Valley, 763-400-7910, lat14.com/) Ann Ahmed's restaurant devoted to the foods from the 14th parallel is taking a break, from Dec. 20 to Jan. 6.
  • French Hen Cafe/Moonflower Pizza* (518 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-222-6201, frenchhencafe.com/moonflower-pizza) The breakfast-lunch cafe and nighttime pizza pivot have both gone into winter hibernation, starting Dec. 20. Beginning in January, the kitchen will host pop-ups. First up: Viva Cubano sandwiches. French Hen will return, according to a post on the restaurant's Instagram, but "without relief, we cannot survive a Minnesota winter with takeout." Read our coverage here.
  • Wayzata BrewWorks (294 Grove Ln. E., Wayzata, wayzatabrewworks.com/) After five years on the shore of Lake Minnetonka, this Wayzata microbrewery announced its closure Dec. 8, citing the financial strain of the spring shutdown and a mandated reduction in capacity during the summer.
  • Unideli (2015 E. 24th St., Mpls. , 612-721-6677, unitednoodles.com/) The popular ramen and barbecue pork counter inside United Noodles has closed. In it's place? Machi Machi, a Taiwanese tea brand with international outlets.
  • Simply Steve's Mobile Food Truck (Mobile, facebook.com/SimplyStevesFoodTruck/) After 10 years slinging cajun turkey burgers and burritos, this early addition to the local food truck scene has closed as of Dec. 6.
  • Penny's Coffee (3509 W. 44th St., Mpls.) The coffee shop closed its Linden Hills location on Dec. 13, but the building won't stay dark for long. Shawn McKenzie, the gifted pastry chef who has made Penny's a destination for all things butter and sugar, is taking over the site of her former employer (she left in October) and opening her own place, Café Cerés, within the next few weeks. Other Penny's locations in Minneapolis and Wayzata remain open. Read our coverage here.
  • Ol' Mexico (1754 Lexington Ave N, Roseville) After 41 years, the Roseville Mexican restaurant has closed.
  • Peace Coffee shops (Multiple locations, Mpls.) The Minneapolis-based roaster is not reopening its three stylish downtown Minneapolis coffee outposts. Two are located in the Capella Tower at 225 S. 6th St. (both opened in 2015), and the third, which debuted two years ago, is in AT&T Tower at 901 Marquette Av. All have been closed since the start of the pandemic in March.It's a different story at the company's 10-year-old south Minneapolis shop (3262 Minnehaha Av. S.), which is getting a makeover. Peace Coffee has teamed up with Wildflyer Coffee, a Minneapolis-based specialty coffee company that works to provide job stability to homeless youth and end youth homelessness. Read our coverage here.

November 2020

  • Openings
  • Northern Fires Pizza (1839 E. 42nd St., Mpls., 612-424-1428, northernfirespizza.com/) Chef Arie Peisert has matriculated his thriving business — which serves farmers markets using a mobile wood-burning pizza oven — into a takeout-only brick-and-mortar establishment. The pizza relies on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Read our coverage here.
  • Revolver Ribs (Delivery only, instagram.com/revolverribs) Hot Indian chef Janene Holig's new rib-centric ghost kitchen delivers ribs in five flavors -- for now, with more to come. On the first menu: kung pao, beer cheese, salt and vinegar, apple butter BBQ and Thanksgiving (stuffing spice rub with a side of gravy). Opened Nov. 27. Read our coverage here.
  • Vivir (1414 Quincy Av. NE., Mpls., 612-345-5527, vivirmpls.com/) The northeast Minneapolis space that was home to Popol Vuh has come back to life as a Mexican market, deli and cafe. Chef/co-owner José Alarcon, working with pastry chef Ngia Xiong, offers seasonally minded dishes, tortas and salads, guava glitter rolls and mole cupcakes, and all-day breakfast. Opened Nov. 24.
  • Clucker's Crispy Fried Chicken (Delivery only, crispycluckers.com/) Kaskaid Hospitality has made room in its Crave restaurant kitchens for a second delivery-only side-project (aka ghost kitchen) devoted to fried chicken meals and sides. The chicken is brined in sweet tea and buttermilk, and only lightly spiced for "Midwesterners' moderate palates." Kaskaid's other ghost concept is all burgers -- it's called Toasty Buns.
  • Burgers & Birds (Delivery only, burgersnbirds.com/) A new ghost kitchen operating from Book Club in Minneapolis' Armatage neighborhood offers six kinds of char-grilled burgers, woodfired grilled chicken and sides, via daily delivery.
  • P.S. Noodles (510 Groveland Av., Mpls., 612-886-1620, psmpls.com) A new ghost kitchen from Jester Concepts, P.S. Steak is now P.S. Noodles, with a lightly Japanese menu of ramen, yakisoba and dumplings. "We've learned a bit from the previous shutdown," DeCamp said. "We realized people don't really want to eat a $60 steak out of a cardboard box." Read our coverage here.
  • Dirty Sams (1115 2nd Av. S., Mpls., 612-353-6207, monellompls.com/) Jester Concepts' Monello, the modern Italian restaurant in downtown Minneapolis (and its basement counterpart Constantine) kept two of its pastas on the menu. Otherwise, it's taken on a new name — Dirty Sams — and put out a new menu of hearty sandwiches that could easily feed a family. Opened Nov. 23. Read our coverage here.
  • Brother Justus Whiskey Co. (3300 5th St. NE., Mpls., brotherjustus.com) The six-year-old craft distillery, which has been riding out COVID-19 by making and donating hand sanitizer with two other local distilleries as a founder of All Hands MN, has scaled up. The company opened a 14,000-square-foot spot overlooking Columbia Park and Golf Course in northeast Minneapolis. The new distillery and whiskey-focused cocktail room is now offering takeout whiskey and cheese and charcuterie pairings from House of Gristle. Opened Nov. 23.
  • Minny Row Market (740 Mainstreet, Hopkins, minnyrow.com/) This new boutique grocery in Hopkins puts an emphasis on Minnesota-made and ethically sourced foods -- meat, dairy, produce and products from local vendors such as Quebracho empanadas, T-Rex Cookies, Rise bagels and cheese from Redhead Creamery. Opened Nov. 20.
  • Nucky's Speakeasy (300 E. Main St., Anoka, nuckysspeakeasy.com/) A Minnesota State Senator has opened a Prohibition-era-inspired cocktail lounge in the basement of a historic former post office in downtown Anoka Nov. 18. It's only offering takeout for now, but when indoor dining reopens, guests are encouraged to dress in 1920s attire to earn a discount. A small food menu includes sauteed prawns with steak bites, a meat and cheese board, wings and fries. A list of signature cocktails, classics and mocktails is much longer. Read our coverage here.
  • Luce Line Brewing (12901 16th Av. N., Plymouth, 763-324-8114, lucelinebrewing.com) Plymouth has its first craft brewery and taproom, which is now open for curbside pickup. Grab a crowler of Mesabi Iron Range Lager, Heartland Hefeweizen, Sault Line Stout and more, along with a frozen pizza or chocolate chip cookies. Opened Nov. 18.
  • Pluck'd (324 6th Av. N., Mpls, 612-545-5466, firstdraftmn.com) Chicken galore (both meat and plant-based) is on the new menu operating from First Draft, the pour-your-own tap bar. Sandwiches come in four flavors, plus tenders, wings, bowls, fries and mini doughnuts. Opened Nov. 18.
  • The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill (7860 Main Street, Maple Grove, thegreatgreekgrill.com) Gyros, rice bowls and salads can be customized with loads of proteins -- lamb, shrimp, salmon, falafel and more -- at this expanding national fast-casual chain that just opened in Minnesota Nov. 16, in Maple Grove's Arbor Lakes.
  • Fare Game Food Truck (2900 NE. Johnson St., Mpls., faregamene.com/) After two years of planning, chef Jason Sawicki was getting ready to finalize bank financing for his northeast Minneapolis restaurant. Then the pandemic intervened. Instead, he's hard at work inside a food truck that's parked in the property's parking lot, giving the neighborhood a preview of the poultry-forward brand of cooking that he hopes to emphasize when Fare Game opens sometime in 2021. Right now, he's serving dinner Thursday through Saturday and brunch Saturday and Sunday: first-rate rotisserie chicken sold in quarter- and half-size portions, fried chicken tenders on a stick, pulled chicken sandwiches and a few sides, including mac-and-cheese and waffle fries. Read our coverage here.
  • Adam's Soul To-Go (Rosedale Center, 1595 MN-36, Roseville, potluckmn.com) A new restaurant from the former chef and owner of Stillwater's Caribbean Smokehouse, Adam's Soul To-Go has joined the food court with local flair Potluck. Adam Randall's homestyle cooking includes his signature ribs, smoked chicken wings, pulled pork sandwich tostadas, and sides of collard greens, beans and rice, and cornbread. Opened Nov. 5.
  • Closings
  • The Grand Cafe (3804 Grand Av. S., Mpls., grandcafemn.com) The Grand Cafe, a longtime restaurant in south Minneapolis' Kingfield neighborhood, has ended its second chapter. Established in 2006 at the corner of 38th and Grand by Dan and Mary Hunter, the Grand Cafe was reborn in 2017 under the tutelage of chef Jamie Malone. Malone and her team quickly won national praise for the kitchen's whimsical approach to Parisian classics — including a Paris-Brest pastry filled with chicken liver mousse that landed on the cover of Food and Wine magazine when the Grand Cafe was named a 2018 Restaurant of the Year. Malone's version of the Grand Cafe served its last dinner Nov. 14. Read our coverage here.
  • Handsome Hog* (173 Western Av. N., St. Paul, handsomehog.com/) Handsome Hog, the flagship restaurant from "Top Chef" contestant Justin Sutherland, is taking a break. Since indoor dining was halted for a four-week shutdown Nov. 20, running a takeout-only business has been a losing proposition for the Cathedral Hill restaurant, Sutherland said. The restaurant served its last takeout meals on Dec. 5. Read our coverage here.
  • Town Hall Tap* (4810 Chicago Av., Mpls., townhalltap.com/) Town Hall announced Nov. 27 that two of its locations, Town Hall Tap and Town Hall Lanes would close until sometime in 2021.
  • Town Hall Lanes* (5019 S. 34th Av., Mpls., thlanes.com/) Town Hall announced Nov. 27 that two of its locations, Town Hall Tap and Town Hall Lanes would close until sometime in 2021.
  • Able Seedhouse + Brewery* (1121 Quincy St. NE., Mpls., ablebeer.com/) The northeast Minneapolis brewery closed Nov. 21 for 10 weeks "to reconfigure and get ready for the spring."
  • Granny Donuts (1555 S. Robert St., West St. Paul, facebook.com/Grannys-Donuts-117637168261782/?fref=ts) A fixture in West St. Paul since 1987, this bakery has been closed since the start of the pandemic. In November, its building was sold to developers.
  • Just/Us (275 4th St. E., St. Paul, facebook.com/justusrestaurant/) The Lowertown St. Paul restaurant announced Nov. 15 that it had closed "indefinitely." It had only been in this location since the beginning of the year, after moving a few blocks from the original downtown St. Paul location due to disputes with its landlord. "After losing half of our original team of founders in March of 2019, those of that still believed in what just/us could be stuck it out," wrote one of the founders in an Instagram post. "While our belief in just/us remains strong -- the sacrifices we've had to make in order to survive COVID have made our vision in this location unattainable."
  • Burger Jones (1619 County Rd. 42 W., Burnsville, burgerjones.com/) The last remaining Burger Jones closed Nov. 8. (The Uptown location closed in May.)
  • Falls Landing and Oly's Roadhouse* (1223 4th St. S., Cannon Falls, 651-829-1161, artisanplaza.com/) Two residents at Artisan Plaza Food Hall -- Oly's Roadhouse and supper club Falls Landing -- will be closed until "at least spring or summer," while Artisan Market remains open for take-and-bake family meals, soup and sandwiches to go.
  • Surly Brewing Co. beer hall and pizzeria (520 Malcolm Av. SE., Mpls., 763-999-4040, surlybrewing.com) Surly Brewing Co. — the epitome of the phrase "destination beer hall" — has pulled the plug on its enormous southeast Minneapolis entertainment complex, which closed Nov. 2. Read our coverage here.

October 2020

  • Openings
  • Club 300 (300 E. Main St., Anoka, 763-331-0878, club300anoka.com/) "Jamasian" cuisine -- a combination of the owner's Jamaican and Laotian roots -- comes to a historic post office building on Anoka's Main Street. Opened Oct. 3. Read our coverage here.
  • The Cocktail Lounge at Skaalvenn Distillery (8601 73rd Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, skaalvenn.com/) Inspired by the distillery owners' trips to Japan, this new cocktail lounge merges Japanese flavors with its own Minnesota vodka, rum, habanero rum, aquavit and bourbon. When on-premises consumption resumes, the speakeasy-like bar will be a reservations-only affair. Opened Oct. 23.
  • Petite León/Pollo Pollo (3800 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., petiteleonmpls.com/) Chef Jorge Guzman, formerly of Surly Brewing Co. and Solera, makes an anticipated return to Minneapolis after a two-year stint in La Crosse, Wis. He is one of the figures behind the Mexican- and Spanish-influenced Petite León, which opened Oct. 30 for takeout to start, and monthly dine-in special events in the works. A second concept, Pollo Pollo, has adobo-rubbed chicken al carbon for takeout and delivery. Read our coverage here.
  • Breizh Crêperie (701 SE. 9th St., Mpls., 612-886-1357, minneapoliscider.co/blog/breizh-announcement) Crêpes and cider are a classic pairing in Brittany, France. That's where chef Claire Corvaisier grew up, and now, her Breizh Crêperie has taken up residency at Minneapolis Cider Co. Try savory galettes made with traditional (and gluten-free) buckwheat batter ($6 to $14), such as Brie and honey, or sweet crêpes with wheat flour that go beyond Nutella and banana -- and pair them all with a cider. Opened Oct. 26. Read our coverage here.
  • Toasty Buns (Delivery only, toastybun.com) Kaskaid Hospitality has made room in its Crave restaurant kitchens for a delivery-only side-project (aka ghost kitchen) called Toasty Buns. Order burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, wings and flatbread pizzas.
  • Woodfire at Eastside (305 Washington Av. S., Mpls., 612-208-1638, woodfireateastside.com) Jamie Malone weathered the early months of the pandemic by turning her downtown restaurant Eastside into La Pistola, a Spanish-style pop-up with ham, lobster and fries. That summery concept has now made way for Woodfire at Eastside, with takeout pizza, fried chicken and icebox cake. Fans of La Pistola, fear not: one pie is named for the previous pop-up, with Spanish-style red sauce, picolat meatballs, olives and capers.
  • Cafe Wyrd (824 W. 36th St., Mpls., 612-825-0818, cafewyrd.com) Twenty years after one of Minneapolis' legendary coffeehouses closed, Cafe Wyrd is back -- in a new location (the former Gigi's Cafe). Stop in for cookies, scones, soup, sandwiches, salads and more.
  • Pork & Piccata (2221 W. 50th St., Mpls. , 612-925-0330, porkandpiccata.com) Sandwiches, plates, bowls and family-style meals are on the menu at this pick-up and delivery-only option from Broders', operating from their restaurant Terzo. Terzo's porchetta is still available, along with the Italian-American classic, piccata. Get yours with chicken, veal or walleye. Opened Oct. 14.
  • Karyn's Quarantine Kitchen (470 S. Cleveland Av., St. Paul, myrielmn.com/) Until her restaurant Myriel opens later this year, award-winning chef Karyn Tomlinson is operating Karyn's Quarantine Kitchen, a takeout-only venture named for the lively and informative how-to videos she posts on her Instagram account. The abbreviated menu, available on Saturdays, includes a changes-weekly meal kit for four as well as a family-style serving of pot roast sandwiches made with dinner rolls fashioned from a cherished family recipe (those same yeasty rolls helped her emerge victorious at Cochon555 in 2018). Read our coverage here.
  • Riviera Maya Cantina & Restaurant (7904 Main St., Maple Grove, 763-355-5340, rivieramayamn.com/) Inspired by the cuisine of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, this new restaurant has replaced another Mexican spot, Fiesta Cancun. Nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas and more make up the extensive menu. Opened October 2020.
  • Avocadish (520 N. 4th St., Mpls., avocadish.com/) An all-avocado menu (there are four guacamoles) is the basis for this new resident in the North Loop food hall Graze Provisions + Libations. This is the second opening for Avocadish; the first is in the University Food Hall in Dinkytown's Sydney Hall. Even the desserts feature avocado (mostly vegan shakes, and pudding). Opened Oct. 15.
  • L'More Chocolat (1229 Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-940-8747, lmorechocolat.com) A Wayzata chocolate shop that specializes in Parisian-style confections, custom bars and handmade truffles, has relocated to downtown Minneapolis in the 1892 Bellevue building. Ring the doorbell or make an appointment to browse the confection "showroom." Opened Oct. 15.
  • Travail (4134 Hubbard Av. N., Robbinsdale, 763-535-1131, travailkitchen.com) After pandemic (and construction) related delays, Travail's sleek, three-level property has finally opened, with two lavish dinners to choose from on either floor. A New Hope is a 22-course (give or take a few) extravaganza with an almost-personal chef as your guide. The slightly more casual Flight Club takes you around the world with a cocktail tasting -- and at least a dozen paired bites.
  • Cora's Lounge (644 Bayfield St., St. Paul, 612-800-5298, holmanstable.com/coras-lounge) Because of indoor dining restrictions, and the end of patio season, the already small Holman's Table is down to just 11 tables. So, the owners made a necessary expansion into the 1939 terminal's lobby and opened Cora's Lounge. The midcentury furnishings give it a retro vibe. On offer are small plates, cocktails and happy hour with runway views. Opened Oct. 13. Read our coverage here.
  • Cologne House Cafe (114 Paul Av. S., Cologne, 612-314-5995, facebook.com/colognehousecafe) Jared Brewington, whose Minneapolis restaurants Funky Grits and Thigh Times Birdhouse recently closed, is taking a stab at Carver County. Cologne House Cafe is currently under renovation for dining in, but swing by on the weekend for drive-through meals to go. Check Facebook for the latest menus, which have included pulled pork sandwiches, buffalo wings, meatloaf and mashed potatoes and banana cream cheesecake.
  • Curry in a Hurry (3025 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., 612-729-5222, curryinahurrymn.com/) Gandhi Mahal has found a temporary home in the former Chef Shack Ranch, while the restaurant — destroyed by fire in the Minneapolis riots — rebuilds. Owner Ruhel Islam estimated the rebuild could take three or four years. In the meantime, find an abbreviated menu here, with tandoor-fired chicken, lamb and salmon, biryani and soft naan. Read our coverage here.
  • El Travieso Taqueria (4953 Xerxes Av. S., Mpls., 612-922-9235, eltraviesotaqueria.com/) Chef Hector Ruiz converted his southwest Minneapolis restaurant Don Raul into a taqueria whose name translates to "the Trouble Maker." Stop in for tacos, quesadillas, burritos, wine and more. Opened October 2020.
  • Bull & Finch Pub (200 Water St., Excelsior, 952-246-1030, thebullfinchpub.com) An Irish gastropub has taken over the former Jake O'Connor's space on Excelsior's Water Street. Look for craft cocktails, beer and "pub classics with a modern twist," such as fish and chips, burgers and mussels. Opened Oct. 9.
  • Stockyards Tavern and Chophouse (456 Concord Exchange S., South St. Paul, 651-350-7743, stockyardstc.com/) Handhelds and burgers, meat and fish, ribs and pasta, breakfast and lots of celiac-friendly options are on the menu at a new dine-in and takeout restaurant in South St. Paul from Morrissey Hospitality.
  • Hamburguesas El Gordo (161 Victoria St., St. Paul, gordoburgers.com ) The Mexican street food spot has added its third Twin Cities location in the Summit-University neighborhood storefront that formerly housed Tori Ramen (the others are in West St. Paul and Minneapolis). Dine-in or take out burgers, hot dogs, handmade tortilla tacos or Mexican specialties. Opened October 2020.
  • Bricksworth Beer Co. (12257 Nicollet Av. S., Burnsville) The Johnson family behind BlackStack Brewing in St. Paul has opened a brewpub, with food from Angelo Pennacchio, the chef/owner of the now-closed Bar Luchador, and beer by Steve Snyder, a brewer formerly of Fair State. Detroit Style steel-pan pizza, wings and salad are on the menu. Opened early October.
  • Brasa Premium Rotisserie (818 W. 46th St., Mpls, 612-429-7835, brasa.us) The casual roasted meat spot from Alma restaurateur Alex Roberts expanded to southwest Minneapolis Oct. 2. It's the third location (818 W. 46th St., Mpls., 612-429-7835, brasa.us), and will have the same menu as the first two, in northeast Minneapolis and in St. Paul. The plan had been in motion since last fall, and when the pandemic hit, "I thought about pulling the plug," Roberts said. But Brasa was already well suited for takeout, which has remained solid, Roberts said. Read our coverage here.
  • Kyndred Hearth (Omni Viking Lakes Hotel, Eagan) Ann Kim, the James Beard award-winning chef/co-owner of Young Joni and Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis, is turning her attention to the suburbs. Eagan, specifically, where she has placed her imprint on the primary restaurant in the Omni Viking Lakes Hotel. The restaurant's centerpiece is the same copper-clad wood-burning oven — imported from France — that anchors Young Joni and Pizzeria Lola. Along with Kim's wood-fired pizzas, the seasonal menu will focus on handmade pastas and "other things that I've never been able to do at the other restaurants," she said. Opened Oct. 1 for dinner only. Read our coverage here.
  • Closings
  • Honey & Rye Bakehouse (520 N. 4th St., Mpls., honey-and-rye.com/) The North Loop outpost of the St. Louis Park bakery, in Graze food hall, closed Oct. 31. "There are many contributing factors, not least of all the pandemic and a looming MN winter," said an announcement on Instagram. "Like many others in the industry, we have experienced a loss of sales that we are unable to overcome."
  • Dark Horse Bar & Eatery* (250 E. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-313-7960 , darkhorsebarandeatery.com/) The Lowertown St. Paul spot is closing for winter, as of Oct. 31. The plan is to reopen in spring. "We are choosing hibernation to prevent extinction," says a post on the restaurant's Facebook page. "This is not good bye, but until we see each other again."
  • Carbon Pit Beef (520 N. 4th St., Mpls., carbonpitbeef.com/) The North Loop's Graze food hall loses another vendor, this one with Maryland-style coal-fired "pit beef" sandwiches and Old Bay fries. The owners cited "the current economic climate" to the closure in an Instagram announcement Oct. 27. But the clsoure may not be permanent. "While this door is closing we have the every intention of opening another so stay tuned to find out where and when you can find authentic Pit Beef again," they wrote.
  • Chino Latino (2916 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., chinolatino.com/) The global street food concept near the corner of Lake and Hennepin for 20 years, closed Oct. 25. "The decline was in place three to four years ago," said Phil Roberts, co-founder of Parasole Restaurant Holdings in Edina. "It began gradually and then COVID and the protests and rioting hit." Read our coverage here.
  • Sonder Shaker* (130 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls. , 612-353-6557, sondershaker.com) After pivoting to meal kits, a takeout window and socially distant indoor dining, Sonder Shaker is halting its offerings, according to an Oct. 19 post from the restaurant on Instagram. Other ventures may be in the works, including bottling the bar's Old Fashioned.
  • Purple Onion Cafe and Catering (1301 University Av. SE., Mpls., facebook.com/purpleonionmn/) The Dinkytown institution closed in October 2020. "It is with great sadness that we announce our permanent closure," reads a post on the restaurant's Facebook page. "Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve the U of M campus for 30 amazing years. The memories made inside these walls will live on forever." (Espresso Exposé, the Purple Onion's sibling establishment — across campus in Stadium Village — ended its 25-year run when it closed in 2016.)
  • Birch's Lowertown (289 E. 5th St., St. Paul, birchsonthelake.com/birchs-lowertown/) The restaurant and taproom inside Market House Collaborative in St. Paul's Lowertown served its last meal Oct. 17. Owner Burt Joseph said the restaurant and its downstairs piano bar were doing well before COVID. "Unfortunately, when we were able to reopen after the mandated closure, we were the only restaurant in Market House Collaborative to do so and we weren't able to regain any momentum," Joseph said. "The shortened Saint season and reduced capacity also contributed and we didn't see the traffic we anticipated."
  • Rah'mn (300 Snelling Av. S., St. Paul, rahmn.online) The Mac-Groveland ramen spot closed Oct. 13 "due to the challenges of Covid-19," according to a statement.
  • Lord Fletcher's* (3746 Sunset Dr., Spring Park, 952-471-8513, lordfletchers.com/) Perched on the lakeshore in Spring Park since 1968, the Lake Minnetonka institution is taking the winter off. The last day of service, until next spring, was Sunday, Oct. 11. "COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry locally and nationwide," said a statement on the restaurant's website. "Our temporary closing is not our preference, but it's a measure we must take as we continue to push through the devastating economic effects of the pandemic."
  • Central N.E.* (700 Central Av. NE., Mpls., 612-354-7947, central-ne.com) After launching as a new restaurant July 17, Central N.E. is pressing pause until Spring 2021. Stay tuned for sandwiches, burgers and small plates inside a former furniture warehouse from 1897. Closed Oct. 4.

September 2020

  • Openings
  • Don Goyo (2301 37th Pl. NE., Columbia Heights, 763-788-0299, facebook.com/Don-Goyo-Mexican-and-Salvadorian-Restaurant-104845688021212/) Mexican and Salvadorian cuisine is on the menu at this new Columbia Heights spot. Birria tacos, pollo guisado with housemade tortillas and chicharrón pupusas are a snippet of the menu. Opened Sept. 14.
  • Kenwood Food & Beverage (Delivery only, kenwoodfoodandbeverage.com) Restaurateur Luke Shimp has teamed up with US Foods to open a "virtual food hall." Four concepts operate out of the kitchen at his Uptown Minneapolis restaurant Red Cow: Chicken Republic (sandwiches, wings and fried chicken), Venice Salads & Bowls, Shakee Shakee (shakes), and burgers from Red Cow. Food is available for delivery only. Opened Sept. 30.
  • Fly Chix (309 SE. Oak St., Mpls., 612-331-3978, fly-chix.com/) Stadium Village has a new spot for chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and mac and cheese bowls. A second location, at 5011 Ewing Av. S., Mpls., is open for pickup and delivery only. Opened Sept. 25.
  • Eat Street (1299 Promeade Pl., Eagan, 651-686-9669, lundsandbyerlys.com/EatStreet) After a topsy-turvy summer food truck season, with next to no foot traffic in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, an innovative partnership with a grocery store is taking this mobile business indoors. Starting Sept. 24, you can find a food truck — the facade anyway — inside the deli department at the Eagan Lunds & Byerlys. It's a rotating pop-up called Eat Street, and O'Cheeze moved in for the first six-week residency. After that, another food truck will take over the space. The food truck-style window replaces what used to be a Big Bowl. The long-term goal is to install an Eat Street in more stores throughout the metro, and keep participating trucks on rotation.
  • Gyu-Kaku (3025 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-224-9888, gyu-kaku.com/Minneapolis) Cook your own meat over a charcoal grill at this yakiniku (Japanese barbecue) chain that opened September 2020 in Uptown Minneapolis.
  • Hayward's Hen House (Delivery only, or at Famous Dave's locations, haywardshenhouse.com) A new concept from the people behind Famous Dave's, this takeout-friendly option features chicken sandwiches and fries. Read our coverage here.
  • Moonflower Pizza (518 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-222-6201, frenchhencafe.com/moonflower-pizza) The mother-and-daughter duo behind the French Hen Cafe have launched a nighttime pivot to their breakfast-lunch cafe. The setup is a cabana-like outdoor counter, accessible from the alley, with a handful of outdoor tables. The chalkboard menu features five options (including a vegan variation and a build-your-own version), and the nine-inch pies fall in the $10 to $14 range. Read our coverage here.
  • Jameson's Irish Bar (886 Smith Av. S., West St. Paul, 651-457-2729, jamosbar.com) Formerly known as the Cherokee Sirloin Room, the remodeled bar and private event space is now open under a new name with a new look. "A passion that I've always had was collecting salt and pepper shakers and you will see those throughout the restaurant. We also discovered many relics in the basement including original paintings for the old Cherokee Tavern," said Brian Rubenzers, chef and owner, in a release.
  • Folly Coffee Tasting & Tour Room (4290 Park Glen Rd., St. Louis Park, 612-297-7888, follycoffee.com) The small-batch Minnesota coffee roaster offers a behind-the-scenes look at the roastery with a 30-minute tour, plus a guided coffee tasting, weekends only for $12. There's no cafe service or takeout on site, but you can pre-order beans to go.
  • The Bapmobile (N/A, bapmobilemn.com) "Follow our chicken across the road," is the clever tagline of Bap and Chicken's new food truck, serving Korean-American street food around the Twin Cities, in owner John Gleason's effort to pivot during the pandemic. "It is important to continue to find ways to provide jobs and wages to his team of faithful employees, as well as continue to feed the hungry guests," said a release. "In this time of turmoil, the Bapmobile was born."
  • Lake City Sandwiches (2551 Lyndale Av. S., lakecitysandwiches.com/) This new sandwich spot from the team behind Nightingale is offering sandwich pickup and delivery only, daily 11 a.m. to midnight. Sandwiches (smoked ricotta, albacore tuna, lamb meatball, etc.) come on housemade focaccia with sustainably farmed meats. And there are salads, matzo ball soup and housemade chips, too. Fifty cents frome very sandwich goes toward a charity that changes monthly.
  • Rosalia (2811 W. 43rd St., Mpls., 612-345-5494, rosaliapizza.com) When Rose Street Patisserie moved out of Linden Hills, chef Daniel Del Prado took over the space that shares a back door with his Italian-Argentine spot Martina. The new restaurant is finally here, and it's leaning into Del Prado's fascination with Siciliy as a crossroads of world cultures. Rosalia is a counter-service pizzeria (no reservations) open daily from 4 p.m. A few crudos, salads and a handful of wood-fired pizzas are on the menu, plus fugaza (Argentinian focaccia) and sauces and dips with bread (think baba ganoush and chicken liver pate). Read our coverage here.
  • Sidebar (303 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., sidebaratsurdyks.com/) With this exciting new venture, the fourth generation of Surdyks are placing their imprint on their family-owned northeast Minneapolis landmark. Following in the footsteps of the family's wildly popular Surdyk's Flights outpost at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (R.I.P., Terminal 1, still going strong at Terminal 2), the restaurant and bar takes advantage of the company's best assets: the inventory of its well-stocked cheese shop and liquor store, plus the expertise of the folks behind those enterprises. Location? They repurposed a chunk of sales floor real estate from the family's busy retail store. The 41-year-old cheese shop is also getting an upgrade. Opened Sept. 16. Read our coverage here.
  • Wendy's House of Soul (1825 Glenwood Av., Mpls. , 612-800-4535, youvebeensouled.com) Wendy Puckett began making soul rolls -- those are egg rolls filled with soul food -- to get her kids to eat more vegetables. Now the Northside community stalwart is scaling up. Her six-year-old Wendy's House of Soul has moved from a counter inside a convenience store to a full-fledged brick-and-mortar spot in Minneapolis' Harrison neighborhood. And with more space comes more soul rolls. Try it stuffed with a three-cheese macaroni, Reuben sandwich filling, a Sunday turkey dinner, gyro meat, or create your own. There are also three flavors of wings, a deep-fried burger or deep-fried chicken sandwich, waffles, salads and fried dessert pockets. Opened Sept. 15.
  • Nashville Coop (300 Snelling Av. S., St. Paul, nashvillecoop.com/) After surveying the prospects of the 2020 food truck landscape, the ownership behind the popular Alimama's Sambusa Mediterranean Grill decided to pivot their business in a different direction. Enter fried chicken. Fusing the spiced-up Nashville Hot fried chicken style with the flavor traditions of the owners' Ethiopian backgrounds, the Nashville Coop brand launched this spring in two food trucks. It has now gone brick-and-mortar on Snelling Ave, in what is increasingly becoming a restaurant row. Opened Sept. 15.
  • Woodfired Cantina (928 W. 7th St., St. Paul, woodfiredcantina.com/) This Mexican-style street food cantina has taken over the former In Bloom, which anchors Keg and Case Market. Brian and Sarah Ingram, owners of Hope Breakfast Bar and the Gnome, have taken over the soaring space with a 20-foot wood-burning hearth, perfect for wood-fired meats — plus "wet tacos, lava rock bowls, and tin-can nachos," according to a news release. "Top Chef" star Justin Sutherland is collaborating on the menu as director of culinary. Opened Sept. 11. Read our coverage here.
  • B.A.D. Wingz (519 Central Av. NE., Mpls., 612 545 5059, badwingz.com/) Spouses Brittney and Gerard Klass, the duo behind Soul Bowl, are branching out. With B.A.D Wingz, the couple are taking on chicken wings, featuring both poultry and plant-based options. The counter-service newcomer has set up shop inside the northeast Minneapolis outpost of Glam Doll Donuts. The lunch and dinner menu allows diners to customize their wing orders through a bevy of sauces and preparations that take their cues from soul food traditions. Additionally, the neighboring Herbivorous Butcher has created a vegan wing that the Klasses have dubbed "Vingz." Read our coverage here.
  • Margie's Kitchen + Cocktails (13735 Round Lake Blvd., Andover, 763-205-4762, margies-kitchen.com/) The northwest suburbs get a new spot with brick-oven pizza, burgers, local beers and cocktails inspired by the owner's grandmother, Margie. Opened Sept. 4.

August 2020

  • Openings
  • Love You, Cookie (300 Snelling Av. S., St. Paul, and other locations, loveyoucookie.com/) At Nashville Coop's new headquarters on St. Paul's Snelling Avenue, there's another hot item on the menu. It's a $4 monster of a cookie, loaded with dark chocolate and cashews and sprinkled with sea salt, behind a glass case on the counter. Inspired by the legendary cookies at New York's Levain Bakery, the cookies are is popping up in a handful coffee shops, such as Nokomis Beach and Gray Fox, with more to come. "The part that was intriguing to me is that it's different from a typical cookie," said Sarah Brima, a speech and language pathologist and the baker who came up with the recipe. "It's huge, first of all. There's this balance you get. It's crispy on the outside and gooey on inside. People have said, 'I feel like I'm eating a scone.' It's a different consistency, but also a chocolate chip cookie at the same time." Read our coverage here.
  • Northeast Tea House (224 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls. , 612-321-8215, northeastteahouse.com) Gongfu tea service, house-milled matcha and sweet and savory snacks are on offer at this new spot that pays reverance to East Asian tea culture. Opened August 2020.
  • Coastal Seafoods Cafe (2007 E. 24th St., Mpls., coastalseafoods.com/) The Twin Cities fish market has expanded to a new location, right across the street from its much smaller former home. The new store is almost four times larger than the original, and has a cafe for prepared foods that showcase the underwater creatures also available to purchase raw. Cafe opened Aug. 31. Read our coverage here.
  • Los Ocampo (801 E. Lake St., Mpls, losocampo.com/) The family-owned business, which anchored the southeast corner of Lake St. and Chicago Av. in Minneapolis from 2008 to 2018, is back where it belongs. After temporarily relocating to make way for the construction of a five-story apartment building, the popular taqueria has returned to 801 E. Lake St. as the $10 million building's anchor commercial tenant. Opened Aug. 25. Read our coverage here.
  • Wafels & Dinges (60 E. Broadway, Bloomington, mallofamerica.com/directory/26139) A food truck easily spotted in New York City for being yellow as a taxi, has opened its first store outside the Big Apple, on Level 3 West of the Mall of America. Wafels refers to its Liege-style Belgian waffles, crisp with caramelized sugar. Dinges (Belgian for "whatchamacallits") are the toppings: strawberries, fudge, "spekuloos" gingerbread cookies and more. Opened Aug. 24.
  • F+B Pop Up (750 S. 2nd St., Mpls. ) Building on Birchwood Cafe and the Minnesota Farmer's Union's successful collaboration at the Minnesota State Fair, this farm-focused partnership is taking over the prime near-the-Guthrie site that was the longtime home of Spoonriver. The plan is to emulate the Birchwood's current curbside pickup model, with a few additions, including a mini-market grab-and-go option, with deli salads, soups, provisions (salsas and sauces) and a handful of farm-to-table grocery items, including eggs, milk, butter and bacon. F+ B will start with dinner, Thursday through Sunday, along with brunch on Saturday (in conjunction with the adjacent Mill City Farmers Market) and Sunday. Opened Aug. 20. Read our coverage here.
  • Burger Dive (731 Randolph Av., St. Paul, burgerdivemn.com/) The burger joint, from Smack Shack owners Josh Thoma and Kevin Fitzgerald and chef Nick O'Leary, has opened its first standalone restaurant in the former Bay Street Grill in St. Paul, Aug. 19. The new spot offers breakfast, plus biscuits from Betty & Earl's Biscuit Kitchen.
  • Lynhall No. 3945 ((3945 Market St., Edina, thelynhall.com/) The Lynhall (2640 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-870-2640) has expanded to Edina.The new spot is occupying a prime ground floor spot in Nolan Mains, a 95-unit apartment complex that opened last year on the site of a former parking ramp at 50th and France in Edina. To start, new executive chef Steph Hedrick — working with chef Marisol Herling and pastry chef Katie Elsing — will offer daily brunch service from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner service and happy hour will start in the fall, along with afternoon tea. Opened Aug. 18. Read our coverage here.
  • Coconut Thai (720 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-348-7250, coconutthaimn.com) The Edina Thai spot (and sister restaurant to Nong's Thai Cuisine in Golden Valley) has expanded to St. Paul's Grand Ave. Soup, curry, salads, stiry-fry and noodles are on the menu.
  • The Birdhouse Eat + Drink (4153 W. Broadway Av., Robbinsdale, thebirdhousemn.com/) Downtown Robbinsdale's latest is an approachable neighborhood cafe with a something-for-everyone vibe, featuring sandwiches, salads, fish and chips, thick-cut pork chops, chicken and waffles, ratatouille paired with wild rice pilaf, cheese curds, poutine, beignets and gluten-free brownies. Dine-in, patio, takeout. Opened Aug. 3.
  • The Gnome (498 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-219-4233, thegnomepub.com/ ) Brian and Sarah Ingram, the couple behind St. Paul's Hope Breakfast Bar and the soon-to-open Elotes, have lovingly restored the 138-year-old Cathedral Hill firehouse that was the longtime home of the Happy Gnome. Look for 100 libations on tap, a supper club-inspired menu (beer can chicken, beef-bone-marrow pot pie) by chef Justin Sutherland and a dramatically expanded patio. Patio, takeout. Opened Aug. 4.
  • La Delicious Bread (2158 Rice St., Maplewood, 651-797-4620, ladeliciousbread.com) Paris-born and Eagan-raised Brandon Vang has converted a former Tim Hortons outlet into a destination for freshly baked croissants, pain au chocolat, éclairs, fruit tarts, macarons, Paris-Brest, cream puffs and other French delights, along with a small assortment of breads and bánh mì (pork pâté, merguez, turkey) and coffee drinks. Takeout, drive-up window.
  • Okome House (4457 42nd Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-2423, okome.house) At this brand-new counter-service spot, Hide Tozawa, the culinary talent behind Kyatchi, is presenting his approach to rice-centric Japanese comfort food. Takeout. Opened August.
  • Foodsmith Bistro Pub (973 S. Smith Av., West St. Paul, 651-330-0896, foodsmithpub.com) Robert and Ann Ulrich, co-owners of Mendoberri Cafe & Wine Bar in Mendota Heights, have brightened the intersection of Smith and Dodd with a great-looking room and a menu of updated tavern fare, including shrimp nachos, wings glazed with a sour cherry barbecue sauce, pulled pork sandwiches, roasted salmon with a summer vegetable couscous and a cauliflower-enriched mac and cheese. A daily happy hour (4 to 6 p.m.) includes deals on appetizers and tap drinks. Dine-in, patio, takeout.
  • Nixta (1222 NE. 2nd St., Mpls., nixtampls.com) Chef/owner Gustavo Romero, a self-described "maize-ologist," is painstakingly transforming heirloom Mexican corn into handmade tortillas, and featuring them in a twice-weekly family-style dinner ($55) that feeds four. Takeout. Opened August.
  • Bombay Pizza Kitchen (16518 W. 78th St., Eden Prairie, 612-425-4205, bombaypizza.kitchen) Owned by a husband-and-wife team, this "modern Indian pizzeria"in Prairie Village Center offers Indian and Italian-American flavors and street food-inspired savory bites.
  • Closings
  • Curran's (4201 Nicollet Av., Mpls., currans-restaurant.com/) After 72 years in business, the family restaurant has closed its doors for good, making way for a five-story, 82-unit rental building. Dennis Curran said that the pandemic forced him to close the restaurant at the corner of West 42nd Street in the Kingfield neighborhood known for its all-day-breakfast, vinyl booths and fresh-squeezed orange juice.Closed Aug. 23. Read our coverage here.
  • Butcher & the Boar (1121 Hennepin Av., Mpls., butcherandtheboar.com/) Butcher & the Boar, which has anchored the corner of 12th and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis for the past eight years, has quietly closed. The last dinner service was Aug. 31. "Due to COVID-19 and the unrest in Minneapolis we are closing our doors permanently," read a sign posted on the restaurant's door. "Thank you all for your support over the years." Read our coverage here.
  • Izzy's Ice Cream (1100 S. 2nd St., Mpls. , izzysicecream.com/) Twenty-year-old Izzy's Ice Cream is has gotten out of by-the-scoop business, closing its Minneapolis ice cream shop on Aug. 31. In April, Izzy's closed its scoop shop on St. Paul's Marshall Avenue, a storefront where owners (and spouses) Jeff Sommers and Lara Hammel founded their business.
  • Lakeshore Grill (Southdale and Ridgedale Malls) Macy's has quietly closed its Lakeshore Grill restaurants at Southdale and Ridgedale. The permanent closings represent a genuine end-of-an-era moment in Twin Cities dining. The Lakeshore Grill's lineage can be traced to the original Dayton's in downtown Minneapolis.
  • Costa Blanca Bistro (416 Central Av. NE., Mpls.) The Spanish tapas bistro from chef Hector Ruiz is now closed, but a new concept is in the works.
  • Don Raúl (4953 Xerxes Av. S., Mpls.) Chef Hector Ruiz is converting his southwest Minneapolis restauranta Don Raul into El Travieso Taqueria.

July 2020

  • Openings
  • CHX (2923 Girard Av. S., Mpls., chxmsp.com/) Walk up or order ahead from this window on the side of Uptown's Pourhouse for chicken tenders, crinkle-cut fries and buttermilk biscuits. Read our coverage here.
  • Bebe Zito (704 W. 22nd St., Mpls., bebezitomn.com/) Bebe Zito is the new brick-and-mortar spot for the former ice cream pop-up from co-owners and fiancées Ben Spangler and Gabriella Grant. Spangler has made ice cream and other sweets for a number of restaurants and cafes, and had his hand in some of Milkjam Creamery's unforgettable flavors (like the dairy-free, dark-as-night Black). He also competed — and got rave reviews — on Food Network's "King of Cones." Now, he's scooping what he calls "composed sundaes" — flavors that pair some of the usual ice cream shop fare, like brownies, with off-the-wall ingredients, such as gochujang and mushrooms. Grant's Brazilian heritage comes through in flavors like Brigadeiro Chocolate. Opened July 2020. Read our coverage here.
  • Taste of Rondo Bar and Grill (976 Concordia Av., St. Paul, 651-348-2615, tasteofrondostp.com) This new restaurant draws inspiration from its neighborhood's history -- that being the Historic Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul. Reservations are required (no walk-ins) daily, 3 to 10 p.m., for burgers, sandwiches, Southern fried chicken, catfish and pot roast on Sundays.
  • Scarlet Kitchen & Bar (406 Main St., Red Wing, 651-385-5544, st-james-hotel.com/scarlet-kitchen-and-bar/) In the historic St. James Hotel in Red Wing, Scarlet's patio and indoor dining offers panoramic views of the Mississippi River, plus design touches that nod to the city's traditions, such as leather and pottery.
  • Casa Maria (5001 S. 34th Av., Mpls., 612-200-8368, casamariampls.com) Mexican cuisine and cocktails, with recipes inspired by the owners' mothers and ancestors. Opened July 21.
  • Bridgeman's Ice Cream Parlor (2110 Eagle Creek Lane, Woodbury, 651-315-8985, bridgemans.com) An affectionate revival of a revered Minnesota ice cream name. Along with a scoop case (hello, Peppermint Bon Bon!) the shop's menu is a long list of classic confections, including the Tin Roof, banana split, root beer float and gargantuan La La Palooza, an eight-scoop behemoth of a sundae. Dine-in, takeout.
  • Bellecour Bakery (208 N. 1st St., Mpls, 612-223-8167, cooksofcrocushill.com ) Pastry chef Diane Moua and her crew — with an assist from chef/owner Gavin Kaysen — have gathered all the reasons why their recently closed Wayzata bakery was such a destination (pitch-perfect croissants, dreamy macarons, grab-and-go sandwiches and salads, a deliriously delicious crêpe cake), and are serving them in the North Loop, a collaboration with Cooks of Crocus Hill. Patio, takeout.
  • La Michoacana Purepécha (809 E. 7th St., St. Paul,, 651-348-6672, lamichoacanapurepecha.com) It's the third metro-area outlet in two years for owner Richardo Hernández (the other two are at 701 E. Lake St. and the Midtown Global Market, both in Minneapolis), and another smile-inducing source of 30 ice creams and 50-plus varieties of colorful, fruit-packed Mexican frozen pops. Takeout.
  • Dunkin' Donuts (Mall of America, dunkindonuts.com) The Mall of America, that magnet for fast-food chains, has landed a Dunkin' outlet. (Dunkin' is the doughnuts-and-coffee behemoth that dropped the "Donut" from its name.) Opened July 2020. Read our coverage here.
  • Closings
  • Octo Fishbar (289 5th St. E., St. Paul, octostp.com/) The Lowertown St. Paul seafood restaurant helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Tim McKee, closed July 25. "We closed the restaurant at this time and have no plans to reopen," said Loren Zinter, managing partner. "The impacts surrounding COVID proved to be just too much." Read our coverage here.
  • Allie's Deli (527 S. Marquette Av., Mpls., alliesdeliandcatering.com/) The downtown Minneapolis skyway spot known for breakfast sandwiches and soup-and-salad lunches, has closed.
  • Popol Vuh (1414 NE. Quincy St., Mpls., 612-345-5527, popolvuhmpls.com) The fine dining counterpart to the casual taqueria Centro in northeast Minneapolis, has closed. The sister restaurants opened in 2018, and both showcased the skills of their co-owner, chef José Alarcon, who hails from southern Mexico. Named for a Mayan poem, Popol Vuh's dinner-only tasting menus highlighted hearth cooking, smoky moles, hand-ground masa tortillas, classic Mexican ingredients and a rare Mexican wine list. The Star Tribune's 3.5-star review called the restaurant "pulse-quickening." Announced July 20. Read our coverage here.
  • The Wedge Table (2412 Nicollet Av., Mpls., tccp.coop) Twin Cities Co-op Partners announced it was closing the Wedge Table July 19 through the end of 2020. "Since the pandemic started, customer counts and sales have decreased dramatically at the Wedge Table," said a blog post on TCCP's website. "The space was intended as a meeting and gathering space for the community – not primarily as a grocery store...As a small grocery store alone, the business model does not work. And as the lower sales indicate it is not filling as important of a role for our customers."
  • Bellecour (739 E. Lake St., Wayzata, bellecourrestaurant.com/) Gavin Kaysen's four-star French bistro and bakery in Wayzata, has closed permanently. "As the days and weeks have gone by, we have realized that in a location that is so dependent on seasonal success we are losing more than we can sustain. When the pandemic came, it was just as we were gearing up for the season, and our ability to bounce back has been extremely limited," Kaysen said in the announcement. Bellecour opened in 2017, the second Minnesota effort from the James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur, who had previously won accolades for Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis. Announced July 16. Read our coverage here.
  • The 508 Bar + Restaurant (508 N. 1st Av., Mpls. , 612-339-0036, bar508.com/) After 12 years, the Warehouse District spot has closed. "The 508 simply cannot survive the business restrictions which stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic," the team wrote July 16 on Facebook.
  • Bar Brava (1914 N. Washington Av., Mpls., 612-208-1270, barbravamn.com) The north Minneapolis natural wine bar announced July 15 on Instagram that it was closing its doors. "We are playing things by ear so stay tuned for future updates," said the post.
  • In Bloom (928 7th St. W., St. Paul, kegandcase.com/) The dynamic anchor to the Keg and Case Market in St. Paul, quietly closed July 6. "As the decline in fine dining continues in the restaurant industry as a whole, our vision for In Bloom has run its course," owners Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone said in a statement. "We are grateful to the Keg and Case team, our fellow merchants in the market and the entire West 7th, St. Paul community for the opportunity." The ambitious restaurant was part of the Twist Davis Group, which also operates the hugely popular Revival in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Read our coverage here.
  • ONE Fermentary & Taproom (618 N 5th St., Mpls., fermentary.one/) A brewpub with a mission of fostering inclusivity in craft beer culture has closed "indefinitely to weigh our future options," according to a post on Instagram. Read our coverage here.

June 2020

  • Openings
  • Rustica (200 Southdale Center, Suite A, Edina, 952-417-6199, rusticabakery.com/) The operation in the Edina shopping mall features the same menu currently being offered at the Rustica mother ship: breads, breakfast pastries, cookies, a small array of desserts (éclairs, cream puffs, banana bread, bouchon) and a few grab-and-go sandwiches, as well as a full line of espresso, pour-over and drip coffees. The Southdale coffee bar also includes a few tap lines, featuring beverages from Northstar Kombucha, Jinx Tea and Dogwood Coffee cold brew. Opened June 29. Read our coverage here.
  • ElMar's New York Pizza (15725 37th Av. N., Plymouth, elmarsnypizza.com) With their 18-inch pies, owners Nicole and Michael ElMaraghy are doing their darnedest to replicate every aspect of New York-style-pizza, from a 48-hour fermentation period to a water filtration system that mimics the qualities of Big Apple tap water. Other options include eggplant Parmesan hero sandwiches, chicken Parmesan dinners and pastas with red or cream sauce. Takeout.
  • Pie & Mighty (3553 Chicago Av., Mpls., pieandmightymsp.com) This once-occasional pie pop-up -- they call it an "underground pie hookup spot" -- has gone brick and mortar. Open for walk-up sales of slices and 7-inch "lil' pies" Thursdays and Fridays 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Pajarito (3910 W. 50th St., Edina, 612.268.4770 , pajaritostp.com) West metro fans of St. Paul's Pajarito will be delighted to learn that co-chefs/co-owners Stephan Hesse and Tyge Nelson have added their contemporary Mexican cooking to the former home of Mozza Mia, and yes, they'll be making full use of that pizzeria's wood-burning oven. Dine-in, patio, takeout. Read our coverage here.
  • It's Greek To Me Taverna E Parea (626 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-825-4151, itsgreektomempls.com) After sitting dormant since last September, the restaurant that kick-started the urban renaissance at Lyndale Av. and Lake St. in Minneapolis 38 years ago is back in business. It's Greek To Me has quietly reopened its doors and its patio, with a slightly altered name — it's now It's Greek To Me Taverna E Parea. The focus on parea is simple: it's the Greek word for "company." Translation: there's a new emphasis on shared platters, served family-style. Read our coverage here.
  • Pop-Up Cafe at CHS Field (360 N. Broadway St., St. Paul, saintsbaseball.com) With hot dogs, cold beer and an emerald green field sparkling under the June sunshine, the only thing missing at CHS Field is the team. As the St. Paul Saints plan to start their 2020 season in Sioux Falls, S.D., their Lowertown home has been left vacant. But the gates aren't staying locked. The stadium is now open for lunch, serving ballpark staples such as burgers and cheese curds, daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tables are set six feet apart on the Broadway Street concourse overlooking the field. Read our coverage here.
  • Clay's Galaxy Drive-In (3712 Quebec Av. S., St. Louis Park, 952-277-7777, claysgalaxy.com) That showy summer showplace overlooking Hwy. 7 in St. Louis Park, is back in business. There's a slightly new name, a reflection of its new operator. He's Mark Saliterman, owner of Clays Restaurant (8900 Walnut St., Rockford, claysmn.com). Clays executive chef James Awe is responsible for the Galaxy's menu, which focuses on burgers (nine varieties, plus a plant-based option instead of beef or chicken); an array of well-dressed hot dogs, Italian sausages and pork-veal bratwurst; a half-dozen sandwiches, including a Reuben, a Philly steak and a BLT; and a handful of appetizers, including cheese curds, deep-fried pickles and boneless chicken wings. Look for soft-serve ice cream sundaes, cones, floats, shakes and malts (and free doggy ice-cream cones), and a kid's menu that includes corn dogs, chicken tenders, cheeseburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches. Top price is $10.95. Read our coverage here.
  • Handsome Hog (173 Western Av. N., St. Paul, 651-340-7710, handsomehog.com/) Justin Sutherland's Handsome Hog relocates from Lowertown to Cathedral Hill, taking over the Fitz. The Southern-style restaurant's decor has carried over, as has the menu, although Sutherland says he is going to "lighten it up a little bit," to better match tastes in the new neighborhood. Still, a new smoker will allow him to smoke seven times the amount of brisket he could do in Lowertown. There will also be a few of those Fitz pizzas — the pizza oven is still there, after all — incorporating some of Handsome Hog's signature items, such as a low-country boil and that brisket. A newly constructed patio is now open. Read our coverage here.
  • Mill Valley Market (1221 Theodore Wirth Pkwy., Mpls., 612-355-7757, loppet.org) The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park has a new restaurant. Mill Valley Market, a counter-service operation, is a spinoff of Mill Valley Kitchen in St. Louis Park.It replaces Cajun Twist, which left the Trailhead with plans to open a stand-alone restaurant in south Minneapolis. Salads, sandwiches, waffles, cold press coffee and tap Prosecco are some of the menu offerings. Opened June 3. Read our coverage here.
  • The Grocer's Table (326 Broadway Av. S., Wayzata, 952-466-6100, thegrocerstablemn.com) After its April debut was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Grocer's Table opened June 3. As per current state mandate, on-site dining will be restricted to a newly expanded patio that takes advantage of previously untapped sidewalk footage. Read our coverage here.
  • Pillbox Tavern (400 Wabasha St. N., St. Paul, 651-756-7566, pillboxtav.com) This tavern from executive chef Graham Messenger opened in the Treasure Island Center in downtown St. Paul. The redevelopment brings new life to the former Macy's Dayton's department store. Read our coverage here.
  • 2 Scoops Ice Cream Eatery (921 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-645-0227, 2scoopseatery.com/) Cups, cones and pie à la mode are on the menu at this new St. Paul scoop shop. Also: pizza, hot dogs and chili.
  • Closings
  • Keegan's Irish Pub (16 University Av. NE., Mpls., 612-252-0880, keeganspub.com) Northeast Minneapolis next door neighbors Keegan's Irish Pub and the Red's Savoy Pizza on University Ave. NE are the latest coronavirus closures in the Twin Cities restaurant world. The businesses both permanently closed at the end of the workday on June 30. Keegan's had already been closed for three months. The 18-year-old Keegan's was in a "challenging," sitatuion with its landlord, owner Marty Neumann said. Neumann also cited a rise in property taxes, and "then COVID came and put us in a bad situation." Read our coverage here.
  • Red's Savoy Pizza Minneapolis Northeast (18 University Av. NE., Mpls., savoypizza.com) The pizzeria, which has the same landlord as Keegan's Irish Pub, has been in its current location since 2017. It was able to reopen at partial capacity following the governor's loosened restrictions announced June 10. The Minnesota franchise has 17 other locations.
  • Lush (990 Central Av. NE., Mpls., 612-208-0358, lushmpls.com) The LGBTQ nightclub and restaurant announced June 26 on Facebook that it would "remain closed for an indefinite period," and saying that when it is safe to reopen, it will come back as "a redesigned concept, a new leadership structure, a reimagined entertainment program and an enhanced commitment to diversity and equity."
  • Herkimer Pub & Brewery (2922 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-821-0101, theherkimer.com) An anchor near the intersection of Lyndale and Lake in Minneapolis since 1999, the Herkimer Pub & Brewery is ending its run. The neighborhood brewpub, home to shuffleboard and corn hole leagues, had its last day of service June 24. Read our coverage here.
  • Public Kitchen + Bar (229 6th St. E., St. Paul, publickitchenstpaul.com) The Park Square Court building on 6th St. E. across from Mears Park is converting into an apartment building, and construction would have shuttered two of chef Justin Sutherland's restaurants, Handsome Hog and Public Kitchen + Bar, for up to 16 months, Sutherland said. Instead, Sutherland is closing Public permanently, and moving the neighboring Handsome Hog to the home of another of his projects, deep-dish pizzeria the Fitz. Read our coverage here.
  • The Fitz (173 Western Av. N., St. Paul, thefitzstpaul.com) The Fitz is closing to become a newer, larger Handsome Hog, although some of its pizzas will remain on the new menu. Read our coverage here.
  • The Bad Waitress Northeast (700 Central Av. NE., thebadwaitress.com) The diner's 3-year-old northeast Minneapolis outpost has permanently closed. "We are focusing our efforts at our original Eat Street location at 26th and Nicollet," says an announcement on its website. "There will be a new restaurant taking over the space that will be opening in the near future."
  • Fuji Ya (600 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-871-4055, fujiyasushi.com) The popular Japanese restaurant in Lyn-Lake known for its sushi happy hour, is shutting its doors for good. The restaurant was open for take-out when the pandemic began, limiting its takeout menu to Thursday-Saturday evenings. On May 7, Fuji Ya closed on what they stated was a "temporary basis," according to a Facebook post. The website now states that the business is permanently closed: "Thank you for your support! Unfortunately we are closing our doors." Fuji Ya, which means "second to none" according to the restaurant's website, was founded in 1959 by Reiko Weston. At the time, Japanese cuisine was virtually nonexistent in the Twin Cities. Read our coverage here.
  • Sugar & Spice Sweetery (15621 Grove Circle N., Maple Grove, sugarandspicemn.com) Opening just six weeks before dining was halted in Minnesota due to COVID-19, this bakery transitioned to take-home kits and celebration cakes, but on June 28, owner Dawn Olson-Wallerus closed the retail operation for good. Olson-Wallerus will continue a custom cake business in the space, and the storefront is being folded into the neighboring Rock Elm Tavern brand.
  • Patrick's Cafe (12489 Elm Creek Blvd N, Maple Grove, patricksbakerycafe.com/) The Maple Grove outlet of this bakery and cafe has closed. Other locations, at Southdale Square in Edina and at 60th and Lyndale in Minneapolis, remain open.
  • Roasted Pear (14200 Nicollet Av., Burnsville; 9690 Colorado Ln. N., Brooklyn Park, roastedpear.com/) After 17 years in Burnsville and 8 years in Brooklyn Park, the family-owned restaurant and bar announced June 3 that it had closed both locations.

May 2020

  • Openings
  • Yeah Yeah Taco (2424 Nicollet Av., Mpls., 763-310-2136, yeahyeahtaco.com/) The takeout-only taco spot shares the kitchen — all 200 square feet of it — staff and hours of Zettas. Carnitas, slow-cooked chicken, sweet potatoes and a glazed roast pork (more on that later) are the choices that can go in tacos, burritos and bowls (all under $11). Alexander describes the menu as "Hispanic infused with Midwest" — there's even the occasional pot roast taco. Read our coverage here.
  • Pho Mai (14th Av. SE. & SE. 4th St., Minneapolis, phomaimn.com) A new Vietnamese restaurant from the owners of Brooklyn Park's MT Noodles takes over the short-lived Tim Horton's of Dinkytown. Bánh mì, eggrolls, rice platters and four kinds of pho are on the menu. Open May 21 for takeout. Read our coverage here.
  • Billy Sushi (116 1st Av. N., Mpls. , 612-886-1783, billysushi.net) Billy Tserenbat, the creative spark behind two Wayzata restaurants — Sushi Fix (which he sold in 2017) and Baja Haus — snapped up the former Sweet Chow. He's converted the bar into a sushi bar and the ice cream scoop shop into a whiskey-sake-shochu bar. Opened May 12 for takeout. Read our coverage here.
  • Parlour Truck (N/A, instagram.com/parlourfoodtruck) The famed smash burger that set off a Twin Cities two-patty revolution has taken to the streets. The restaurant group Jester Concepts launched a Parlour food truck, which currently parks Mondays at Red Wagon and some Fridays at Indeed Brewing. Chef Mike DeCamp hopes it'll eventually head to farther-flung reaches of the metro. On the limited menu: the Parlour Burger, fries, and salad. Read our coverage here.
  • Dancing Bear Chocolate (4637 Thomas Av. N., Mpls., 612-254-4354, facebook.com/dancingbearchocolate/) Part bakery, part confectionary, this cheerful corner shop just south of Victory Memorial Drive offers gelato, palmiers, banana-blueberry bread, cherry-poppyseed bread, lemon ricotta cookies, brownies packed with dried cherries and a pretty hazelnut meringue torte with a Key lime mousse filling. Confections range from eye-catching truffles to dark chocolate-covered espresso beans.
  • Lake & Irving pop-up (14435 Hwy. 13, Savage, 952-447-1322, lakeandirving.com) This south-of-the-river slice of Uptown Minneapolis is a fantastic way to light up an empty Perkins, and an opportunity for chef/owner Chris Ikeda to test-drive ideas for a remake of the space. Tip: The fried chicken sandwich is tops in its class. Takeout.
  • Closings
  • Giordano's (2700 Hennepin Av., Mpls.) The Chicago deep-dish pizza spot closed May 29. Another location in Richfield remains open (3000 W. 66th St., Richfield).
  • Bar Brigade (470 Cleveland Av. S., St. Paul, 651-340-3568, barbrigade.com/) Despite a profitable early part of the year, the 3-year-old French neighborhood spot shut down in May due to restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and will not be reopening. Owner Matty O'Reilly is downsizing his restaurant portfolio, which includes Sandy's Tavern in Richfield and Republic in Minneapolis. "I have two kids, so the school equation for me was too challenging to consider operating 4 units with so many unknowns," he said. O'Reilly hopes to reopen Bar Brigade elsewhere in the future, "but I'm not entertaining that idea until next year at least."
  • McCormick & Schmick's (800 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., mccormickandschmicks.com) After 20 years on the corner of Nicollet Mall and 9th St. in Minneapolis, McCormick & Schmick's has closed permanently. "Our lease was set to expire, and due to COVID-19 and the city's elimination of dine-in services, we decided not to renew our lease and close our doors," said Howard Cole, COO of McCormick & Schmick's, in a statement. Another McCormick & Schmick's, at the Westin Galleria hotel in Edina, remains open for pickup and delivery. Read our coverage here.
  • Fig + Farro (3001 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-208-0609, figandfarro.com) The Calhoun Square plant-based restaurant is closing permanently. "With uncertainty of when we can reopen our dining room safely, we have decided to turn our mission of food and climate into a foundation," said an announcement from the restaurant on Instagram. Since its launch, Fig + Farro held monthly guest lectures, classes and events that addressed climate change and fostering a healthier planet. The restaurant's last day was May 31.
  • Burger Jones (3200 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-746-0800, burgerjones.com) Donna Fahs, the chief operating officer of Parasole Restaurant Holdings, which owns and operates the restaurant, said Burger Jones had been successful and the company had signed a lease extension last year. But the company that manages Calhoun Village, Doran Commercial, had another business interested in the spot, and asked Parasole leaders if they'd like an out, Fahs said. Already facing revenue losses over the state-order shutdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Fahs said Parasole "decided it was in our best interest to take the deal and walk away." She also cited minimum wage increases coming this summer in Minneapolis. Read our coverage here.
  • Moose & Sadie's (212 3rd Av. N., Mpls, 612-371-0464, mooseandsadies.com) After almost 30 years, the North Loop cafe has closed. "The economic impact of this crisis was just too much for our small business to overcome," owner Peter Kirihara wrote in an Instagram post. When it opened in 1991, the coffeehouse quickly became a popular outpost on the fringes of what was then the Warehouse District. The surrounding blocks later evolved into the North Loop and the area became a dining, shopping and residential hot spot. Kirihara's enterprise was part of a wave of next-generation coffeehouses that were popping up in the Twin Cities in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Read our coverage here.
  • Bonfire (Multiple locations: Woodbury, Savage, Blaine, Eagan, bonfirewoodfirecooking.com) A message on its website May 15 announced the closure of all Twin Cities Bonfire locations. "We were already walking a fine line before COVID-19 and given that no one knows how long the impacts of this pandemic will last, or what the new normal will be, we do not see a viable path forward."
  • A Cupcake Social (3800 S. 28th Av., Mpls., 651-243-1114, acupcakesocial.com) May 30 was the last day for this south Minneapolis cupcake shop and food truck. "It is with heavy hearts that we write this, but the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. has had greater impact on our small business than we anticipated," the owners wrote on Instagram.
  • Vivo Kitchen (15435 Founders Ln., Apple Valley, 952-891-8808, vivomn.com) The sprawling restaurant's 350-seat setup — which grows to 500 during patio season — transitioned into a modest takeout operation, and revenue plummeted 88% in the weeks since COVID-19 took hold in Minnesota.The last day of takeout service was May 23. Read our coverage here.
  • Pazzaluna (360 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-223-7000, pazzaluna.com) The 21-year-old Italian restaurant in downtown St. Paul, has permanently closed.The restaurant, owned by Morrissey Hospitality, has been dark since March 17. "Irrespective of when restrictions are lifted, we are not confident in the immediate return of customers who are worried about their health and family members," said Morrissey president Richard Dobransky in a statement. "Pazzaluna was created for our customers to enjoy each other's company in a sharing, vibrant atmosphere." The official closing date is May 31. Read our coverage here.
  • Cleveland Wok (767 Cleveland Av. S., St. Paul, 651-699-3141) Closed for a remodel since a February 2019 fire, the 20-year-old Highland Park restaurant announced it won't be returning.
  • Bar Luchador (825 Washington Av. SE., Mpls., 612-379-1450, barluchador.com) The 5-year-old Mexican restaurant and wrestling-themed bar in Stadium Village announced its closure on May 4, in a message on its website. "We could keep scratching and clawing our way through these strange weeks and months and try and keep fighting," the announcement said. "But I really don't know what the restaurant world is going to look like when this is all said and done, and I just don't know if we would have been able to make it. So we are packing it in."
  • Muddy Waters (2933 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-872-2232, muddywatersmpls.com) Co-owners Sarah Schrantz and Paddy Whelan decided to close the business, in Minneapolis' Lyn-Lake neighborhood, for good, starting May 4. Schrantz said the closure was "one of countless costs" of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she supported Walz's orders. "In context, shutting down was the definition of compassion from the people of Minnesota," she wrote in an e-mail. "It was right."ontext, shutting down was the definition of compassion from the people of Minnesota," she wrote in an e-mail. "It was right." Read our coverage here.

April 2020

  • Openings
  • Wow Bao (Delivery only, wowbao.com/) A ghost kitchen with Chicago roots steams up Chinese-style bao buns and dumplings for delivery. Read our coverage here.
  • East Side Bar (858 Payne Av., St. Paul, 651-348-8450, esbstp.com) The former Ward 6, which closed in 2018, reopened as East Side Bar, under the same ownership. Sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and family dinners are available for takeout.
  • Closings
  • Sleepy V's (1226 2nd St. NE., Mpls., sleepyvs.com) Northeast Minneapolis doughnut shop Sleepy V's closed early April, but it's not only because of coronavirus. "It was a lot of things," said co-owner Vince Traver. "We were crashing and burning anyway." The operation faced a number of bumps in the road, including an early name change to avoid trademark litigation. Traver said he also contended with lease issues, labor costs, and slow business this past winter. "And then this happened," he said, referring to the coronavirus, and the state's efforts to stop its spread by closing restaurants for on-premise dining. Read our coverage here.
  • Egg & I (2828 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-872-7282, eggandimn.com) Lyn-Lake breakfast cafe the Egg and I has closed permanently, following a statewide order shutting down restaurants for on-premise dining. Its St. Paul sister restaurant, known informally as the Big Egg, will stay open (2550 University Av. W., St. Paul, 651-647-1292). Read our coverage here.
  • Anelace (2402 Central Av. NE., Mpls., 612-236-4870, facebook.com/anelacecoffee) An electrical malfunction in an apartment fireplace is suspected of igniting a fire that damaged several residences and retail storefronts along Central Avenue in northeast Minneapolis -- including Anelace Coffee, which announced April 21 that it would be closing permanently. Read our coverage here.
  • NE Arcade (1032 3rd Av. NE., Mpls., ne-arcade.com) The bar and arcade announced April 22 that it would close permanently. It had only opened in northeast Minneapolis last November. "I want to thank you all for your support during these past few months, as we tried to get this little business off the ground," wrote the owner on Facebook. "Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to continue, and have to announce our permanent closure."
  • Izzy's Ice Cream (2034 Marshall Av., St. Paul, izzysicecream.com) After two decades on the Twin Cities ice cream scene, one venerable shop is calling it quits. Izzy's Ice Cream is permanently closing its first cafe, in St. Paul's Merriam Park neighborhood. Both the St. Paul shop and the newer Minneapolis location, at 1100 2nd St. S., had been dark since March 17, in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.The Minneapolis shop reopened for delivery in early May; at the same time, the building was put on the market. Read our coverage here.
  • El Burrito Minneapolis (4820 Chicago Av. S., Mpls., elburritostp.com) St. Paul's El Burrito Mercado closed its short-lived Minneapolis outpost. "With all the unknowns, it's just too much," said co-owner Milissa Silva-Diaz. "It didn't feel like we had a choice." The Silva family opened the restaurant in August 2018, taking over the longtime home of the former Pepito's Family Mexican Restaurant, which had closed the previous year. Read our coverage here.
  • Bachelor Farmer/Marvel Bar (50 2nd Av. N., Mpls., 612-206-3920, thebachelorfarmer.com) The Bachelor Farmer, one of the state's top restaurants, will not reopen. The North Loop restaurant, its casual daytime cafe and Marvel Bar craft cocktail lounge have been dark since Gov. Tim Walz ordered all Minnesota restaurants closed in mid-March to combat the spread of the coronavirus. "As you know, the future of hospitality is incredibly uncertain and over the past month, we have tried our best to navigate this uncharted territory," co-owner Eric Dayton said in a statement. "We have explored the option of takeout, most likely evolving into a hybrid model of takeout and reduced-capacity dining room service in the months ahead, but there's just no way for that level of business to support the financial weight of our company and the building we call home. We were already walking a fine line before COVID-19, and given that no one knows how long the impacts of this pandemic will last, or what the new normal will be, I do not see a viable path forward." Read our coverage here.
  • 4 Bells (612-904-1163, 4bells.com) The Lowcountry cuisine spot on Loring Park, known for its fried chicken and peel-and-eat shrimp, has closed "indefinitely," according to its website.

March 2020

  • Openings
  • Stilheart Distillery & Cocktail Lounge (124 N. 3rd Av., Mpls.) A new North Loop cocktail room from a founder of Lawless Distilling will feature house-made spirits and Bittercube mixers. Opened March 2.
  • Tori Ramen (603 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-340-5866, toriramen.com) After closing last year in the Summit-University neighborhood, Tori Ramen is back in St. Paul, open for takeout in the former Chicago's Taste Authority on West Seventh.
  • Dragon Wok (805 E. 38th St., Mpls., 612-886-1185, dragonwokdelivery.com) The restaurant was relocated east from its Nicollet-and-38th digs into a newer, larger home in March. Along with the move came an expanded roster of freshly prepared Asian fusion dishes, at prices that rarely venture above $13. Takeout.
  • Heather's (5201 Chicago Av. S., Mpls., 612-445-8822, heathersmpls.com) After spending nearly a decade as general manager at the former Lucia's Restaurant, Heather Asbury has struck out on her own. Her first-rate neighborhood restaurant has a canny, something-for-everyone vibe and a handy walk-up window. Patio, takeout.
  • Closings
  • Foxtrot Burger Spot (1341 Pascal St., St. Paul) Another casualty of COVID-19, Foxtrot has been closed since March and will not reopen. Owner Matty O'Reilly is downsizing his restaurant portfolio, which includes Sandy's Tavern in Richfield and Republic in Minneapolis.
  • New French Bakery (2609 26th Av. S., Mpls., 612-455-7500, risebakingcompany.com) The New French Bakery, a staple on the local bread scene for nearly a quarter-century, is calling it quits. The closing date? "No later than Friday, March 6," according to signs posted at the bakery's retail outlet in south Minneapolis. There's a simple reason for the closure: The bakery's parent operation, now called Rise Baking Co., is discontinuing its fresh breads, with plans to concentrate on its wholesale frozen bread products. Read our coverage here.
  • Big Daddy's BBQ (625 University Av. W., St. Paul, 651-222-2516, bigdaddysbbq-stpaul.com) After announcing it would close at the end of 2019, the longtime barbecue spot has granted fans of its ribs a reprieve, according to a post on the restaurant's Facebook page. It will now stay open until March 31, at which point the building in which it is housed will be developed into a mixed-use commercial and office space.
  • Ginger Hop/Honey (201 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-746-0304, gingerhop.com) Honey, the beloved basement club on E. Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, closed permanently in late March along with its sister restaurant Ginger Hop, following extended closures related to the coronavirus pandemic. The owners said they were already considering the future of both businesses before the coronavirus reached Minnesota. Read our coverage here.

February 2020

  • Openings
  • Mango Mango Dessert (406 14th Av. SE., Mpls., mangomangodessert.com) An expanding franchise featuring Hong Kong desserts opened in Dinkytown Feb. 19. On the menu: fruit bowls with mango, snow white juice, red bean, black rice, durian and more; mochi; mille crepe cakes; egg custard; and bean paste soups.
  • Basement Bar (4134 Hubbard Av. N., Robbinsdale, 763-535-1131, travailkitchen.com/basementbar) You can't go on one of Travail's signature dinner adventures in their new Robbinsdale complex until next month. But you can nosh and sip at the Basement Bar, which opened Feb. 19. Food and drink (including some nonalcoholic cocktails) are overseen by Creative Bar Director Nathaniel Smith.
  • The Naughty Greek (225 S. 6th St., Minneapolis, thenaughtygreek.com) Angelo Giovanis has been in expansion mode since he first opened the Naughty Greek as a small St. Paul neighborhood restaurant on Snelling and Selby in 2016. The next year, he opened a larger location on University Ave. and Raymond Ave. In February 2020, he made the jump to Minneapolis, opening in the Capella Tower skyway. A truncated lunch-only menu features the restaurant's signature gyros, salads and bowls. Read our coverage here.
  • Wahlburgers (11852 Elm Creek Blvd. N., Maple Grove , 763-494-5339, wahlburgers.com/maplegrove) The burger chain from chef Paul and his actor brothers Donnie and Mark Wahlberg has come to the northern 'burbs. Minnesota's first Wahlburgers outlet is at Mall of America.
  • Yumi (400 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-207-6810, yumisushibar.com) The already bustling restaurant district along Selby Av. in St. Paul just keeps growing. The latest addition? A sushi restaurant and bar with enormous specialty rolls and cocktails crafted from Japanese spirits. Opened Feb. 3. Read our coverage here.
  • Trax Burgers and Bar (525 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-524-1900, traxburgersandbar.com) Connected to the new Fillmore music hall in Minneapolis' North Loop, this gastropub is serving burgers, shareable appetizers, shakes and local beers and spirits. Chef David Fhima collaborated on the menu. The 80-seat space with communal bar and outdoor patio neighboring Target Field incorporates design elements that amplify its proximity to the city's newest music venue: vinyl records and vintage audio equipment. Opened Feb. 3.
  • Wing Squad (Delivery only, wingsquad.com/) Get wings delivered (that's your only option) from a ghost kitchen from Earl Enterprises (they also own Buca di Beppo, among others). Read our coverage here.
  • Closings
  • The Bird (1612 Harmon Pl., Mpls., thebirdmpls.rocks/) After several attempts to get her Loring Park restaurant to take off, Twin Cities restaurateur Kim Bartmann is grounding The Bird. According to an Instagram announcement, the restaurant's storefront is shuttered. According to the post, the team will shift its focus from a brick-and-mortar restaurant to catering and delivery service. "The Third Bird will live on in its digital form," reads the announcement. Read our coverage here.

January 2020

  • Openings
  • The Cocktail Room at 18th & Central (MSP Airport, Terminal 1, Concourse A, mspairport.com) If you've never been to Concourse A at Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport, you're not alone. Now, you'll have reason to make the trek. The Cocktail Room at 18th & Central, near gate A10, opened Jan. 24 The relaxed yet opulent bar — there's a crystal chandelier — is inspired by Tattersall's northeast Minneapolis cocktail room with a drink menu that reflects the popular distillery's home base (located at 1620 Central Av. NE., Mpls., tattersalldistilling.com). Read our coverage here.
  • Umami Fries (405 14th Av. SE., Minneapolis, umamifries.com) A Tulsa, Okla.-based food hall stall goes brick-and-mortar in Dinkytown, bringing its burgers, tacos and signature French fries topped with Asian flavors and ingredients, plus a vast selection of milk tea. Opened Jan. 11.
  • True Stone Coffee Roasters (289 E. 5th St., St. Paul, truestonecoffee.com) For years, the St. Paul roaster has been supplying coffee to local restaurants, including Salty Tart and Octo Fishbar, Tim McKee's restaurant that anchors Market House Collaborative. This is the first consumer-facing business for the company, which is replacing the Salty Tart. Opened Jan. 24. Read our coverage here.
  • Uptown Pizza (323 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-823-7203, uptownpizzampls.net) The longtime Lake and Grand pizza dive (it's been there since 1980) quietly closed last fall. Now, it's back with a new owner -- a former staffer who is reviving the original recipe.
  • Unleashed Hounds & Hops (200 E. Lyndale Av., Minneapolis, unleashedhoundsandhops.com) isan indoor-outdoor dog park within a beer bar slated to openthis coming winter.More than 10,000 square feet of space will be devoted to pups, including a leash-only bar, an off-leash area, and an outdoor bar and a playspace with a water feature. Opened Jan. 30. Read our coverage here.