Right now Tim McKee and Josh Thoma are the forces behind two restaurants, La Belle Vie and Solera. By July, they'll have added two more to that list. The third is Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque (423 S. Main St., Stillwater), scheduled to open May 20. The fourth is Barrio (925 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.), a tequila bar going into a former Dunn Bros. It will open in mid-July.
They're not kidding when they say tequila bar: The bar will stock more than 100 labels. The kitchen will specialize in Latin street foods, with a focus on Mexican and Cuban influences: "Tacos and enchiladas in the $3.50 price range, lots of small and larger plates to share and entrees in the $20-and-under range," said Thoma.
The restaurant takes its name from the Spanish word for neighborhood. "It's the direction that successful places are going," said Thoma. "Smaller in size, more accessible pricing. It's really going to be a neighborhood place, because downtown is a neighborhood in and of itself."
- Rick Nelson
Prom nightThis ain't your grandmother's prom. This fifth incarnation of the annual Goth Prom, called "Contrivance: deus ex machina," will celebrate with a steampunk, Victorian-era theme. The night will feature DJs and prizes. Proper attire is suggested. View the full event listing.
- Tom Horgen
It's a leather Lexus heading to Texas
Just four years ago, Tom Edwards and his 12-year-old grandson decided to create their first art car. Now Edwards, 66, of Minneapolis, is a good-sized cheese in the art-car world. He'll soon make his third trip to the giant art-car parade in Houston (May 10), which features 250 cars and close to 200,000 spectators. (The Minneapolis parade, threatened this year by funding woes, is the nation's second-biggest, after Houston.) Edwards' "Genuine Leather Moover IV" is a Lexus covered in scrap leather. He further pimps his ride with strings of lights and a pair of flame-spewing tubes that stick four feet out of the sunroof. Way to represent, gramps.
- Claude Peck
Party for the homeless
Hey big spenders, here's something good (and fun) to blow your money on. Chambers is hosting a shindig May 16 to benefit Hennepin County homeless. Dusk 'Til Dawn will be broken up into two parts. Dusk (7 to 10 p.m., $125) is a garden-themed, dress-to-impress affair with actual sod and plants set up throughout the hotel. Comedian Louie Anderson will be on hand and a charity auction will feature luxury rooms and suites. The second half, Dawn (10 p.m. to 2 a.m., $75), is basically a glorified pajama party. Come in your PJs and dance to a DJ, or partake in the date auction of 50 Minneapolis singles. Sens. Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar are the night's co-chairs. All proceeds will go to Heading Home Hennepin, "a coalition of over 70 business, civic and faith leaders committed to ending homelessness in Hennepin County by the year 2016." Learn more at www.headinghomehennepin.org. (7 p.m. May 16. 901 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-767-6900. www.chambersminneapolis.com)
- Tom Horgen
Block party summer
Organizers might need to think about lining up some heating lamps the way the weather's going, but the first few block parties of the year have been announced. Tickets are on sale for the Finnegan's ShamRock homeless fundraiser outside the Cabooze on June 7, with one of the best jam bands in indie rock, Built to Spill, plus Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Romantica, A Night in the Box and Joshua Radin ($20, www.finnegansshamrock.org). The free Red Stag Block Party lands again June 14 in northeast Minneapolis with the Owls, Electric Arc Radio, E.L.nO., Mike Mictlan and Big Trouble. Then look for Tina Schlieske and All the Pretty Horses once again at the Uptown Pride Block Party on June 27.
- Chris Riemenschneider