Minnesota Restaurant Openings and Closings in 2019: A Timeline

A three meat platter from Beast BBQ // Photo via Beast BBQ Website

A three meat platter from Beast BBQ // Photo via Beast BBQ website

No one document can capture the complexity of the restaurant scene in Minnesota, which is still in the midst of historic expansion, and the rapid evolution of diner expectations as dollars shift from traditional white tablecloth experiences to more modern concepts. The timeline that follows is a continually updated snapshot of some of the most noteworthy and commented-upon openings and closings of the year.

Updated April 11, 2019

The Year in Restaurants 2019

January 2, 2019
Ziadi’s Mediterranean Cuisine Opens

Ziadi’s Mediterranean Cuisine Opens

A major expansion of the popular Moroccan Flavors stand into the former Rabbit Hole location in Midtown Global Market, Ziadi’s features lunch and dinner service.

January 7, 2019
P.S. Steak Opens

P.S. Steak Opens

The former La Belle Vie space now boasts a new, steak-focused concept featuring high-flying talent including Mike DeCamp of Jester Concepts (who spent a decade in La Belle Vie’s kitchen) and Wyatt Evans (formerly of Heirloom)

January 9, 2019
Market BBQ Opens

Market BBQ Opens

The venerable Eat Street BBQ joint has picked up stakes and moved into a fresh new location in trendy Northeast.

January 10, 2019
Hasty Tasty Closes

Hasty Tasty Closes

Well-received smoked meats and craft cocktails weren’t able to keep the lights for this newly arrived Lyn-Lake resident.

January 24, 2019
Chef Shack (trucks and restaurant)

Chef Shack (trucks and restaurant)

Street food pioneers Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer closed their Seward restaurant late last year, but only recently did they announce that they’ll also be selling their locally famous food trucks. Their Bay City, WI Chef Shack restaurant remains open.

January 29, 2019
The Copper Cow Opens

The Copper Cow Opens

A new eatery from the Copper Hen team, already known for its deep-fried hamburger.

January 31, 2019
Beast BBQ Opens

Beast BBQ Opens

Another new barbecue spot during a boom time for the genre, owned by the Eli’s crew and located in the former Legends. Formerly announced as Lipstick Pig BBQ.

February 9, 2019
Lucky Oven Closes

Lucky Oven Closes

This neighborhood scratch bakery and breakfast shop had a brief but tasty run in the Armatage neighborhood.

February 9, 2019
Mi Casa Su Casa Closes

Mi Casa Su Casa Closes

The metro’s only Mexican-Pinoy spot called it quits after a short run on University Avenue in St. Paul.

February 15, 2019
Demi Opens

Demi Opens

The latest from Gavin Kaysen’s restaurant group, which includes Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis and Bellecour in Wayzata. Demi is small (20 seats) and focused on locally derived tasting menus.

February 24, 2019
D’Amico and Sons (Grand Avenue) Closes

D’Amico and Sons (Grand Avenue) Closes

After more than 20 years of serving pasta (and more), this Grand Avenue mainstay has shut its doors for good. Six other Minnesota locations remain open.

March 5, 2019
Sol Taqueria Opens

Sol Taqueria Opens

Tacos, elotes, burritos, and other traditional Mexican street foods are on offer at this newly opened spot

March 12, 2019
Forepaugh’s Closes

Forepaugh’s Closes

Following the death from the flu of its chef, Kyle Bell, this more-than-40-years-old mansion-based restaurant shut its doors.

March 13, 2019
T-Icy Roll Opens

T-Icy Roll Opens

The second location for this Duluth-based Thai rolled ice cream concept.

March 15, 2019
Breakfast Bar Opens

Breakfast Bar Opens

Shrimp and grits, breakfast burgers, and lobster and waffles are among the items of interest on this new breakfast spot’s menu.

March 18, 2019
Habanero Tacos Grill Opens

Habanero Tacos Grill Opens

A new taqueria opening on a part of East Lake Street that’s still relatively devoid of Mexican food options. This is a jump to bricks-and-mortar for a long-standing food truck of the same name.

March 20, 2019
Fire & Whiskey Opens

Fire & Whiskey Opens

Chef Justin Sutherland has opened yet another outpost in his growing greater metro empire, this time in New Richmond, WI. Fire & Whiskey offers a menu focused on steaks, cocktails, and Wisconsin cheese.

March 28, 2019
Oxcart Arcade and Rooftop Opens

Oxcart Arcade and Rooftop Opens

A reboot of the Ox Cart Ale House, featuring arcade games and boozy snow cones.

April 3, 2019
Giulia’s Opens

Giulia’s Opens

A pizza- and pasta-focused spot with tableside mozzarella headed by former Copper Kitchen chef Josh Hedquist, housed inside the Emery hotel (the former Restaurant Max space inside the former Hotel Minneapolis).

April 9, 2019
Martha's Daughter shiitake ramen // Photo by Becca Dilley

Martha’s Daughter Closes

After a high profile but rocky run in Duluth, Martha’s Daughter has closed its doors—the concept will live on as a series of pop-up dinners in Duluth, Superior, and beyond.

April 9, 2019
Bark and the Bite Opens

Bark and the Bite Opens

The popular BBQ food stand (based in Sunny’s Market in Northeast) has moved to a bricks-and-mortar space in St. Paul in the former Heirloom location.

April 12, 2019

Don Raúl Opens

A new restaurant for Hector Ruiz (Cafe Ena, Rincon 38, Costa Blanca), opening at 50th and Xerxes. Menu features dishes including Tacos de Pato (duck tacos), Lechon (pork tenderloin medallions), Skuna salmon, and more.

April 20, 2019

just/us Closes

Citing a major bump in rent, the St. Paul-based chef collective known for burgers and clever coursed meals closed on April 20.

April 21, 2019

Meyvn Closes

Uptown’s stylish artisan bagel spot called it quits after a bit less than a year of operation.

April 23, 2019

Elephant Bar Opens

A new restaurant by chef Lucas Almendinger replacing the former Hygga space in Lowertown, with some Pakistani flavor influences.

April 25, 2019

Meseret Ethiopian Opens

An East African market and catering operation expands into the world of sit-down food service with this new restaurant concept on Minnehaha.

May 3, 2019

Minnesota Barbecue Company Opens

A mostly catering- and takeout-focused BBQ spot by the team behind Travail.

May 4, 2019

Russian Tea House Closes

Forty years of borscht, piroshki (Russian hamburgers), and folk music come to a close with the shuttering of this charming little University Avenue spot.

May 5, 2019

Taco Arcada Opens

The latest new concept from the Duluth Grill / OMC Smokehouse / Corktown Deli team, combining a bar, arcade, and “fresh-Mex” food.

May 9, 2019

The Prodigal Pub Opens

A British Isles-inspired tavern now open in the former Gyst space near Eat Street.

May 14, 2019

Lee’s Liquor Lounge Closes

After 62 years of operation, this legendary dive bar and live music venue is calling it quits.

May 14, 2019

Pimento at Keg and Case Opens

After months of delays, the Keg and Case food hall location of Jamaican street food-restaurant Pimento is now open.

May 14, 2019

Gazta and Enhancements Closes

The high-end cheese pairing restaurant in Keg and Case food hall on West 7th in St. Paul has closed to rebrand as a more casual grilled cheese concept under the O’Cheeze name.

May 15, 2019

Pig Ate My Pizza Reopens

Pig Ate My Pizza, a popular Travail collective-owned pizzeria, has reopened after a renovation that incorporates a brewery into the business model.

May 16, 2019

Lola on the Lake Closes

Lola on the Lake, a pavilion restaurant on the northeast corner of Bde Maka Ska, suffered what police are presuming to be an arson attack and is closed until further notice.

May 20, 2019

The Fitz Opens

The Fitz is a more casual, Justin Sutherland-run reboot of the former Fitzgerald’s space in St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill neighborhood, featuring deep-dish pizza.

May 21, 2019

Cheese Louise Opens

Brunch, salads, and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches makes up the bill of fare at this food-truck-gone-brick-and-mortar in Linden Hills, run by Cheryl Rossi (an alum of Lucia’s in Uptown) and business partner Holly Miller-Byzewski.

June 1, 2019

Duluth Coffee Company Canal Park Opens

A second location for Duluth Coffee Company has opened, extending its footprint into Duluth’s popular Canal Park neighborhood and operating in conjunction with the Ripple Bar at Hoops Brewing.

June 10, 2019

Magic Noodle Opens

The former Taste of Thailand has reopened as Magic Noodle, with new, hand-pulled noodles on the menu.

June 11, 2019

Olive and Lamb Opens

The former Marina Grill and Deli has reopened with a clean, modern look and an emphasis on Mediterranean fare such as falafel and lamb burgers.

June 13, 2019

Treats Cereal Bar and Boba Opens

Cereal combined with soft serve ice cream and boba tea drinks are the hallmarks of Treats Cereal Bar and Boba, a new spot on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

June 14, 2019

El Cubano Opens

El l Cubano has made the jump from food truck to bricks and mortar in West St. Paul. El Cubano joins a growing community of Cuban and Cuban-inspired restaurants including Key West Bistro, Victor’s 1959 Cafe, and Guavas Cuban Cafe.

June 15, 2019

Marla’s Caribbean Closes

Marla’s, a beloved South Minneapolis institution known for its chickpea doubles and other Trinidadian fare, called it quits after a decade-plus run.

June 17, 2019

Prieto Opens

Alejandro Castillon (formerly of Sonora Grill) has taken advantage of the massive smoker at the old Hasty Tasty location to bring smoked meats together with house-made tortillas to Lyn-Lake with Prieto.

June 21, 2019

Moose Bear Wolf Opens

Bryan Morcom (an Iron Range native and former chef de cuisine at Alma) has opened an ambitious “local first” restaurant in Ely, Moose Bear Wolkf. The restaurant is open on a pop-up basis and may or may not continue past this year’s summer season.

June 25, 2019

Falls Landing at Artisan Plaza Opens

The next step for St. Paul mainstay J.D. Fratzke (Bar Brigade, Strip Club Meat and Fish) is a supper club-style restaurant at the Artisan Plaza in Cannon Falls called Falls Landing.

June 28, 2019

Fire and Whiskey Closes

The newest piece of the Justin Sutherland / Madison Restaurant Group empire, opened in March, has already shut its doors.

June 29, 2019

Bistro La Roux Closes

The former Cajun to Geaux truck turned bricks-and-mortar in Circle Pines has shut its doors, but may reincarnate in its truck format once again.

July 2, 2019

Mucci’s Minneapolis Opens

The incredibly popular St. Paul-based Italian-American spot Mucci’s has opened a branch across the river in the former Meyvn space.

July 9, 2019

Loon Cafe St. Paul Opens

A second location for Loon Cafe, the 37-year-old Minneapolis stalwart, opened in the former Great Waters in St. Paul.

July 13, 2019

Famous Dave’s (Uptown) Closes

Amid a local boom in serious BBQ, Uptown mainstay Famous Dave’s has shut down its Calhoun Square location, known as much for its live music program as its food.

July 15, 2019

Alemar Cheese Co. Opens

A well-regarded Mankato-based creamery has opened a facility at Northeast Minneapolis’ Food Building, taking the slot once occupied by Lone Grazer.

July 15, 2019

Enji Opens

The former Scena has become an Asian-inspired restaurant and club by Gene Suh, who owns Lyndale Tap House, Hammer & Sickle, Aloha Poke Co., and The Fremont.

July 15, 2019

MN Slice Closes

The MN Slice pizza shop at food hall Keg and Case, operated by the Rose Street Cafe / Patisserie 46 group, shut its doors July 15, 2019.

July 16, 2019

Rose Street Cafe Opens

The rapidly expanding Rose Street Patisserie empire continues its growth with a cafe space in the former Schmidt Brewery complex on West 7th in St. Paul, this time in the Rathskeller building.