On one Minneapolis thoroughfare, two new restaurants less than a mile apart might share similarities in their addresses, but inhabit two radically different universes. One, a trippy bar for cocktails and smashburgers, aims to imagine what a country western saloon might feel like if it were built in outer space. The other, a cute and casual cafe for hummus bowls and Palestinian delights, builds upon a family's long-running business and its recent chickpea dip superstardom. Here's a first look at both of them.

Fool Me Once

The name of Lyn-Lake's newest dive bar is intended to evoke a story that hasn't been written yet. It's an incomplete adage, with the "shame on you" part of the phrase noticeably absent.

"It's just an inciting incident," said the bar's co-owner and food and beverage director, Will Benedetto. "There's no comma. It's just an open-ended — not a question, but just what happened."

Since it opened in early August, Fool Me Once has pridefully marched down that open-ended path, as the whimsical and gloriously convoluted bar finds its audience. It's at once an industry hangout and a neighborhood watering hole, a rainbow/outer-space/cowboy-themed place you could lose a whole night in, a dark bar with thoughtfully prepared cocktails, and a restaurant for cheesy, deep-fried goodness and plenty of vegan options. Basically, use it as you wish.

Fool Me Once "starts a story," Benedetto said. "It doesn't finish it."

Location: 3006 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-503-9350, foolmeoncempls.com. Open 3 p.m.-midnight Sun., 3 p.m.-1 a.m. Mon.-Thu., and 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat.

The vibe: Fool Me Once replaces a slew of businesses, most recently Side Chick, and notably, the former Country Bar. A cowboy-themed mural was uncovered above the drop ceiling during renovations, and so remains. The Country Bar owner had held onto antler chandeliers and gave them to the new tenants. Music with a drawl plays over the loudspeakers before dusk. There's a Wild West energy, almost by default.

But the themes don't stop there. As non-Minnesotans, "we're aliens here. Everyone's an alien somewhere. So, how do you make an alien comfortable?" Benedetto said. Start with a cosmic, neon-backlit cowboy scene behind the bar. Colors change gradually on a loop, "so that we sit here and every 90 minutes we experience an entire day on an alien planet." Rainbow lights extend from the bar around parts of the room, a subtle, welcoming nod to LGBTQ customers and staff.

A snug patio out back lets you capture the waning daylight while we have it; otherwise, it's always nighttime indoors.

The food: There's an unexpected breadth to this bar-inspired menu, with leanings toward Tex-Mex, comfort food and vegetarian options. Still, as a southerner, Benedetto had some things to learn about the way Minnesotans eat. Pickled eggs? "I never had that thought," he said. But with kitchen managers making pickles in house for a number of dishes, they pushed for eggs to go into the brine. The $1 snack has been a hit. "It's obvious people want this."

Cheese curds were also new to Benedetto, and a jalapeño-spiked version is celebrated atop the Cowboy Coney ($14), a griddled chili dog that breaks apart as you eat it, with intention. Both the chili and the curds fall to a bed of tortilla chips below for a joyful part-two snack.

Can anyone open a bar these days without a burger? Fool Me Once enters the race with a double patty smashburger smothered in caramelized onion and thick bacon ($16). There's also dessert in the form of a curious deep-fried Twinkie ($5), sliced and served "maki"-style with an almost savory edge from a drizzle of soy sauce.

The drinks: Benedetto has partnered and consulted on bars in Tennessee and New York, including Nashville's celebrated Fox Bar & Cocktail Club. His first job in Minneapolis was to revamp the drinks at Up-Down, half a block away. (Josh Ivy, Up-Down's co-owner, is a partner in Fool Me Once.) All that to say, it's a dive bar with cocktail lounge drinks — though you'll still find Hamm's, and only Hamm's, on tap ($3). The menu ($10-$16) puts a spin on the classics. An orange creamsicle-flavored slushie is made with Tattersall spirits and coconut milk. Many cocktails bring in savory elements that cross over from the food menu: Szechuan peppercorn, Nashville hot chicken seasoning, soy sauce and pickles. Nonalcoholic drinks, wine, bottles and cans ($6 and up) round out the list, including a selection of THC beverages.

Baba's Hummus House & Mana'eesh Bakery

When we were first introduced to Babas' adorable Airstream trailer and unfathomably creamy hummus at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair, it was one of those "where have you been all my life?" moments. Soon afterward, their products hit grocery store shelves, and have stocked refrigerators on a regular basis ever since.

But Baba's didn't come out of nowhere. Though the brand, and now the flagship "hummus house" in Minneapolis' Wedge neighborhood, has a playfully modern style — all bright swirly patterns and slangy Arabic catchphrases — their incomparable hummus has deep family roots. Siblings Rana Kamal and Khalid Ansari named the company after their Baba (father), Jamal Ansari, who founded one of Minnesota's first and longest running Middle Eastern restaurants, Burnsville's Mediterranean Cruise Cafe.

The siblings grew up in their father's restaurant, and didn't intend to follow in his footsteps. But, "through it all, we wanted to do something to continue the legacy," Kamal said. First the State Fair, then supermarket shelves, and now, a new state-of-the-art production facility — with more than enough room for the hip and contemporary all-day Middle Eastern cafe that Minneapolis was sorely lacking.

Location: 2220 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-254-8884, lovebabas.com. Open daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

The vibe: At once energetic and relaxed, the counter-service cafe designed by Little Box is a window-walled and sun-filled space with a variety of seating — banquettes, long tables, loungers and a yellow umbrella-dappled patio. There's Palestinian art and embroidery, plus a yellow, blue and pink swirl (to match Babas' bright branding) undulating all around, like a happy rainbow hug. "We wanted the design to feel on brand, in a fresh and playful way," Kamal said. "You'll walk around and you'll just see a reflection of us in every piece of the cafe."

Between two dining rooms is a small marketplace with items from Palestinian and Arab foodmakers, as well as the full line of Baba's grocery wares, including zhug hot sauce, pita, spice blends and, naturally, hummus.

The food: If you encountered Baba's at the State Fair, the format of the restaurant's main dish will be familiar; it's the hummus bowl. While a series of vats of hummus lines the counter, this isn't the Chipotle-ification of the spread. Instead, choose from eight composed bowls ($11 and up), each with different mix-ins and toppings, from scallion and kimchi to buffalo chicken and blue cheese. The portions are large yet light, great for sharing as an appetizer or devouring solo with the included side of lightly fried pita "puffs." My dining companions and I were especially taken with the ultra-fresh Super Green ($13), which blends herbs into the hummus so it turns Kermit-green, and tops it with edamame, pistachios, green tahini and Baba's crispy falafel. The Chili Baba ($12) was another favorite, with za'atar hummus dripping in garlic chili oil and topped with kimchi and scallions.

Baba's Hummus House could have started and ended with the signature bowls and we'd have been more than satisfied. But the other half of the operation is a mana'eesh bakery, and hot ovens are churning out fresh, ethereally fluffy flatbreads blanketed in the salty-savory-sour spice blend za'atar (starting at $9), just like those one would find on Jerusalem street corners. Here, za'atar is only the baseline, with other versions adding cheese, spiced ground meat, herbs and more. Get one.

A selection of salata (salads), mezze (snacks) and sandweesha (sandwiches) make use of many of the same ingredients in different formats. A Palestinian Plate ($12), or sampler, helps you taste as many as you can in one go. And, almost hidden on the menu is a must-try: the Batta Hara ($7), a side of fried potatoes with garlicky dipping sauce.

"We're not a cheffy restaurant," Kamal said. "We're not fancy. But it's our version of Palestinian street food — no frills, just good food and good company."

The drinks: We were pleased to discover Baba's can just as easily do lunch and dinner as it can a midmorning coffee run. A menu of Sippers brings more Middle Eastern flavors into lattes and nitro coffee. The sesame orange blossom latte ($6) was fragrant and soothing; the Palestinian Nitro ($7), spiked with turmeric, honey foam and pistachios, was supercharged deliciousness.

Parking: It's a beast. Don't bother trying to score a spot out front. There should be ample spots on the neighborhood streets to the west, a block or so of a walk away. If you plan it right, your return walk will take you past Bebe Zito for a post-meal ice cream cone.