The Mill: Wadi brothers to open a St. Paul seafood spot, Grand Catch

Patrons of World Street Kitchen enjoy the diverse menu options // Photo courtesy World Street Kitchen

Patrons of World Street Kitchen enjoy the diverse menu options // Photo courtesy World Street Kitchen

The brothers Wadi—behind food-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar World Street Kitchen and the next door Milkjam Creamery in South Minneapolis—have announced that they are turning their sights to St. Paul to open a Cajun seafood spot on Grand Avenue.

Sameh and Saed Wadi are joining forces with Brooklyn Park-based Cajun Deli owner Thien Ly to open Grand Catch, which will fuse traditional flavors of Cajun seafood boils with East Asian spice influences. The concept was born when Sameh started frequenting Cajun Deli, completely obsessed with the unexpected Vietnamese spices that owner Thien—or T, as Sameh calls him—was using.

“I spent three years eating in the restaurant, hanging out in the kitchen,” Wadi told the Star Tribune. “We finally got to this point where I was, like, ‘I want to open a restaurant with you.’ And that’s when we decided to open a seafood shack. I’m really excited to see how it will grow and evolve.”

The menu will be rooted in classic Louisiana seafood tradition, with specials that stray away from the Cajun fare with East Asian ingredients. There will also be a full bar with cocktails, wine, and beer that will pair well with “spice-forward food.” The team will also take advantage of the alley-side patio in warmer seasons.

“It’s going to be a little more ‘young’ than what we’ve done in the past,” Wadi told the Star Tribune. “It’s funny, but the older I get, the more I want to do younger things than I’ve done in the past. There I was at 23, opening a fine-dining restaurant [Saffron Restaurant & Lounge, which closed in late 2016 after 10 years]. Now, I’m 34, and I want to open something that feels 22.”

Expect to see the restaurant open sometime early this summer, just in time for seafood season.

Drink

Modist Brewing Company is raffling off the pair of Super Bowl LII tickets they received from Bud Light in December, 2017 and giving the proceeds to charity // Photo courtesy Modist Brewing Company

Modist Brewing Company is raffling off the pair of Super Bowl LII tickets they received from Bud Light in December, 2017 and giving the proceeds to charity // Photo courtesy Modist Brewing Company

Modist Brewing has found a way to take their December cease-and-desist from Bud Light and use it for good. The North Loop brewery is holding a raffle for the two Super Bowl tickets granted as a consolation prize from Bud Light, with all of the proceeds to be donated to charities picked by each of the employees, with hopes to raise a total of $50,000. In addition, they’ve encouraged Bud Light and “the rest of the citadel of Minneapolis” to come enjoy their newest release, a juicy IPA named Dungeon Juice.

As road salt continues to flow into our waterways and harm our ecosystems, scientists and local agencies have started to explore the possibilities of using other materials to combat ice on the roads, so far including beet juice, molasses, pickle juice, cheese brine, and yes, beer. While we will likely never completely cut out road salt, alternating with other materials can significantly cut back on costly corrosion of roads and bridges, as well as salinity in our waters.

San Diego-based Ballast Point is set to open the first on-site brewpub in Disneyland. While it won’t be located in the theme park itself (beer and spinning teacups—what could go wrong?), it will be in the Downtown Disney District, the park’s public shopping area. This will be Ballast Point’s seventh taproom to open in California, but most of the production will still occur off-site.

Goat Ridge Brewing is expanding in its home town of New London, making this the second major expansion since the brewery opened two-and-a-half years ago. In addition to doubling the size of the taproom, the co-owners are making a space for nonprofit restaurant and youth farm, Model Citizen Restaurant & Farm, an endeavor by chef Mateo Mackbee. Mackbee hopes to host youth from all over the Cities to teach them to grow and prepare what he calls “elevated comfort food.”

Food

The former Victory 44 is being taken over by the owners of Tori Ramen // Photo via Google Street View

The former Victory 44 is being taken over by the owners of Tori Ramen // Photo via Google Street View

The former Victory 44 space in North Minneapolis is being taken over by Jason Dorweiler, chef and co-owner of Tori Ramen. The space has sat unoccupied since the gastropub closed last summer after a decade in business. The new restaurant is planning to open in two months, and is expected to serve similar ramen-esque fare on one side, with the other half the building to be devoted to on-site “noodle production.”

Chef-favorite Marla’s Caribbean is at risk of closing. The restaurant was notified by the building’s new landlord via email that their rent could potentially double when their lease is up in 2019, along with some tips on increasing revenue to meet the new rent cost. Since the news has come out, notable figures in the food industry like Gavin Kaysen and Andrew Zimmern have come out in support of Marla and her husband Ian, encouraging people to give them their support and patronage.

The Uptown Arby’s suddenly closed at the start of this week. While it’s not exactly groundbreaking that a fast food chain should close a location, many are left wondering what will happen to the iconic sign, which has become a landmark of Lake Street. Following the news, former Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges tweeted: “Has anyone made an [Historic Preservation Commission] application for the sign?” If they hadn’t, it’s likely in process now.

After trying to charge $36 for chips and guacamole on a special Super Bowl menu, Ike’s Food & Cocktails had some livid masses to answer to. The downtown restaurant released the menu featuring a 10-ounce filet for $117 and beef skewers for $72, but people responded most angrily at the outrageous price of guacamole. The restaurant responded by saying that it was a printing mistake, then pulled the menu altogether.

Vic’s in the St. Anthony Main neighborhood abruptly closed its doors last week, with a notice going out to staff the night before. The restaurant took up prime real estate on Main Street, with a waterfront patio overlooking downtown Minneapolis, so it’s a safe bet that it’ll be re-occupied soon.

Culture

A Glensheen Mansion guided flashlight tour // Photo courtesy Glensheen Mansion

A Glensheen Mansion guided flashlight tour // Photo courtesy Glensheen Mansion

Duluth’s storied Glensheen Mansion is bringing back the Flashlight Tours this winter, this time with alcohol. Each participant of the 21+ experience will receive a Glensheen-branded flashlight along with a pint to soothe the nerves as they traverse the famously-haunted mansion. Also new will be the pre-tour visit to the Carriage House, where participants can cozy up around a roaring fire before entering the darkness of the main house.

A new boutique hotel is coming to the Mears Park area of Lowertown, aptly named Hotel Mears. Construction on the 127-room, $60 million project is expected to start in June in the Park Square Court building, with a completion date set around December 2019. The hotel will share a block with restaurants like the Handsome Hog and Public Kitchen + Bar, adding to the commercial boom of the Lowertown neighborhood.

If you notice a helicopter flying uncomfortably low over downtown Minneapolis this week, don’t panic: it’s probably just measuring for high levels of radiation. Apparently it’s a common practice for cities hosting large public events, as measures of “naturally occurring background radiation” are used for security purposes.


The Mill is The Growler’s regular digest of all things new and notable in the world of food, drink, and culture. Stop back weekly for restaurant news, brewery rumors, and more. Have some news you want to share? Got some gossip to dish? Drop us a line at mill@growlermag.com.