You know that moment that comes after a long winter, when the sun pokes through and the grass springs loose and it’s pleasant enough to sit outside and perhaps indulge in an adult beverage?
There’s a word for that. Well, in Norwegian, anyway.
It’s utepils — the literal translation means “outdoor beer” — a word that a soon-to-be local brewery and taproom now also bears.
“We know a lot about that in Minnesota,” Utepils taproom manager Kelsey Bomgaars said. “So at our taproom, we really want to reflect that word.”
OK, quick game of catch-up. Perhaps you’ve heard of Bryn Mawr, Utepils’ original name. But after finding out a winery in Oregon also sports that moniker, they changed things up — and wound up with a name that might be tough to understand but they believe better suits their hatching business.
“We found this to be more of a blessing in disguise, actually,” said Bomgaars, one of five owners including Dan Justesen, Jim Moore, Eric Harper and Jeff McClure.
As of yet, Utepils Brewing (225 Thomas Av. N., Suite 700, utepilsbrewing.com) — which figures to be one of north Minneapolis’ first microbreweries — still hasn’t brewed any beer. But the brewery owners (four of whom have worked in the industry) are planning a variety of traditional European styles for starters on their 50-barrel system: a pilsner, a kölsch, a Bavarian hefeweizen, a Belgian IPA and an alt beer reminiscent of the Düsseldorf, Germany, original.
The 150-seat taproom will also have lots of games — board games, perhaps pool and darts — and the Utepils owners plan to have a relationship with food trucks the way many taprooms do. Eventually, they want to have a patio, as well.
The timetable for opening? Bomgaars declined to get too specific, but said they plan to open the doors sometime this winter — just in time to experience the feeling for which they are named.
“We’ll be open before the snow melts,” Bomgaars said. “We’ll have our utepils moment.”
Other restaurants in the works
Expect new Korean BBQ takeout spot Sum Dem (735 E. 48th St., Mpls., sumdem.com) to start serving up marinated short ribs, kimchi pancakes and the like sometime in the next month.
Owner Mike Brant — who worked as a sous chef in Portland, Ore., in the late ’90s — is returning to the industry after 14 years in graphic design and partnering with childhood friend Josh Crew to bring the food of his native land to the neighborhood he grew up in.
“Cooking has always been a passion for me,” he said. “To learn and to create.”
Meanwhile, another niche looks to be filled, albeit down the road. Ben Rients, of Lyn 65 (6439 Lyndale Av. S., Richfield, lyn65.com, 612-353-5501), last week announced that he has something else up his sleeve: a refined Mexican cuisine restaurant, somewhere in “an up-and-coming” Minneapolis neighborhood. Jose Alarcon, a chef at Lyn 65 who is native to Morelos, Mexico, will lead the kitchen.
The anticipated opening is likely a year or more away, but lest his potential diners forget about the currently nameless project, Rients is staging a series of “pigeonhole” dinners in which he plans to develop the restaurant’s menu as patrons partake. The first, a five-course meal, will be held Nov. 7 at Lyn 65. For ticket information, visit brownpapertickets.com/event/2696831.
“We thought it would be a perfect way of starting the dialogue for what this restaurant could be,” Rients said. “We’re excited to share our vision.”
And there’s a bakery in the works. When Molly Miller began baking, her inspiration was simple: She wanted delicious baked goods to eat.
Miller went gluten-free in 2009, but she missed the carb-filled treats she grew up with and began creating them in her own kitchen.
Now, after three years of farmers market peddling and coffee shop cameos (she currently bakes at City Food Studio in south Minneapolis), what started as a hobby has taken on a life of its own as Miller prepares to open a brick-and-mortar location for Sift, a gluten-free bakery.
“I wouldn’t say the original intention was a bakery,” Miller said. “But I realized I really do enjoy this. And to see the reaction of people when they haven’t had a doughnut for years, that’s pretty cool.”
Miller is in the process of purchasing a building in south Minneapolis for a new storefront she hopes to open this spring.
Initially, Miller plans to offer the same lineup of goods — muffins, doughnuts, scones, cinnamon buns and other sweet morsels — that she’s already selling through 20 local coffeehouses. Eventually, she hopes to expand to incorporate breads, buns, English muffins and soft pretzels.
Rosa Mexicano (609 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.) closed on Sunday, an official at the former City Center restaurant and bar confirmed Tuesday.
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