Goodbye, times four
Get ready to say farewell to the original Origami (30 N. 1st St., Mpls., origamirestaurant.com).
The 26-year-old North Loop fixture is closing Dec. 23. The restaurant’s Uptown location (1354 Lagoon Av., Mpls.) will remain open.
Six-year-old Loring Kitchen & Bar (1359 Willow St., Mpls., loringkitchen.com) is also calling it quits; the last day is Dec. 14.
Another closing: the retail portion of Franklin Street Bakery, which went dark last week after 11 years; co-owners Mark Haugen and Wayne Kostroski are focusing on their growing wholesale bread business.
Finally, it’s sad to see that the Glockenspiel (605 W. 7th St., St. Paul) has closed, after a 15-year run.
At 11th and Nicollet
When Vincent Francuoal, chef/owner of Vincent (1100 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., vincentarestaurant.com), closes his downtown Minneapolis restaurant on Dec. 31, he won’t be going far. He’s taking the position of culinary director at Cara Irish Pubs, operator of the Local and Kieran’s Irish Pub in Minneapolis, the Liffey in St. Paul and Cooper in St. Louis Park.
After Vincent serves its last cassoulet, the space won’t sit dark for long. According to a sign posted at a neighboring Caribou Coffee, the space is going to be home to a relocated outlet of the coffee chain, along with downtown’s first branch of Einstein Bros. bagels.
Einstein and Caribou are owned by the same German private-equity firm, and the first Caribou-Einstein combination debuted in September in Colorado.
The Vincent news is a come-full-circle moment because this chunk of Nicollet Mall real estate wasn’t always such hallowed culinary ground; in the 1990s, it was occupied by a Bruegger’s Bagels and, you got it, a Caribou.
Still, a lost opportunity: An urbane, one-of-a-kind dining space, on a prime corner on downtown’s de facto Main Street, turned over to fast food. Cold Omaha, anyone?
The sound of popping Champagne corks is emanating from Saint Genevieve (5003 Bryant Av. S., Mpls.), the Parisian-style buvette (that’s French for “tavern”) from Tilia chef/co-owner Steven Brown.
Dinner-only Ramen Kazama (3400 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., ramenkazama.com) is packing ’em in every night, and those who don’t want to wait, take note: no takeout.
The Draft Horse (1401 NE. Marshall St., Mpls., thedrafthorsempls.com) is now serving lunch and dinner, featuring products from fellow tenants in the Food Building, including Red Table Meat Co. and Lone Grazer Creamery.
The Unofficial (3701 Stinson Blvd., St. Anthony, theunofficialdb.com), a beer- and burger-focused, self-proclaimed “dive bar and grill,” has debuted in a former IHOP outlet. Expect made-from-scratch bar fare, as well as $10 daily dinner specials (meatloaf on Monday, Tater Tot hot dish on Thursday) and brunch.
The Sheridan Room (337 13th Av. NE., Mpls.) is now serving breakfast (fried chicken biscuit sandwiches, corned beef hash), lunch and dinner (beer-roasted chicken, porchetta sandwiches) Tuesday through Saturday in the former home of the Modern Cafe.
Italian remains hot. Scena Tavern (2943 Girard Av. S., Mpls., scenatavern.com) is now open, serving dinner (and happy hour) daily, plus Sunday brunch.
And the cozy Italian Eatery (4724 Cedar Av. S., Mpls., italianeatery.com) is open, serving dinner (and cocktails) daily.
Fresh off the farm
Thursday (Dec. 10) at Common Roots Cafe (2550 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.) is the night to enjoy a dinner featuring end-of-the-season produce from Riverbend Farm in Delano (including olive oil-poached salmon with purple carrots, braised short ribs with Hubbard squash purée) and meet farmers Greg and Mary Reynolds. Tickets $35 ($45 with beer pairings), reservations at commonrootscafe.com/riverbend.