Order Up! Boutique Brands Expanding in the Twin Cities

Rose Street Patisserie opening in the Schmidt Brewery Ratskeller in St Paul // Photo via Rose Street Facebook

Updated August 1, 2019

Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing biweekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Please send any tips to [email protected]

All dates are approximate based on best information available; opening dates, in particular, tend to shift around a lot.

THIS WEEK’S GIST: The growth of boutique local restaurant groups has been among the summer’s most striking trends—from the expansion of Mucci’s into a second location in Minneapolis to the Italian Eatery crew jumping over to St. Paul to open Due Focacceria to the continued growth of the Rose Street Patisserie group to the opening of a second Loon Cafe, independent eateries are staking out new turf and franchising proven concepts. Whether this represents a long-term slowing of the market (and a shift toward more conservative, proven concepts) remains to be seen.

RECENTLY OPENED (Up to 2 Months)

Due Focacceria in St. Paul // Photo via Due Facebook

Bap and Chicken, 1328 Grand Ave., St. Paul ■ Bibimbap and Korean fried chicken dominate the menu in this new spot in the former Grand Shanghai location in St. Paul. Finally, a definitive answer to the age-old question, “What’s bappin’?” Opened July 29.

Due Focacceria, 475 Fairview Ave. S., St. Paul ■ The former Espresso Royale space has been reinvented as a combination Italian market and restaurant by the owners of Italian Eatery in Minneapolis. Opened July 23.

Rose Street Patisserie (fourth location), 882 West 7th St., Schmidt Brewery Rathskeller Building, St. Paul, ■ The rapidly expanding Rose Street Patisserie empire continues its growth with a second space in the former Schmidt Brewery complex on West 7th in St. Paul, this time in the Rathskeller building. Opened July 16.

Enji, 1320 W. Lake St., Minneapolis ■ 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. Opened July 15.

Alemar Cheese Co. at The Food Building, 1401 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis ■ A well-regarded Mankato-based creamery has opened a facility at Northeast Minneapolis’ Food Building, taking the slot once occupied by Lone Grazer. Opened July 15.

Loon Cafe, 426 Saint Peter St., St. Paul ■ A second location for the 37-year-old Minneapolis stalwart of the same name, opened in the former Great Waters. Opened July 9.

Mucci’s (Minneapolis Location), 901 W. Lake St., Minneapolis ■ The incredibly popular St. Paul-based Italian-American spot is opening a branch across the river in the former Meyvn space. Opened July 2. Read our profile of owner Tim Niver, “Dollars to Dumplings.”

Falls Landing at Artisan Plaza Eatery and Market, 1223 4th St. S., Cannon Falls ■ The next step for St. Paul mainstay JD Fratzke (Bar Brigade, Strip Club Meat and Fish) is a supper club-style restaurant at the Artisan Plaza in Cannon Falls. Opened June 25, 2019. Read our preview and interview with Fratzke, “Falls Landing at Artisan Plaza Marks a New Chapter for JD Fratzke and for Cannon Falls.”

Moose Bear Wolf, 101 N. Central Ave., Ely ■ Bryan Morcom (an Iron Range native and former chef de cuisine at Alma) has opened an ambitious “local first” restaurant in Ely. The restaurant is open on a pop-up basis and may or may not continue past this year’s summer season. Opened June 21, 2019. Read our interview (about visiting the Boundary Waters) with Moose Bear Wolf owner Steve Piragis, “How to Boundary Waters.”

Prieto, 701 W. Lake St., Minneapolis ■ Alejandro Castillon (formerly of Sonora Grill) is taking advantage of the massive smoker at the old Hasty Tasty location to bring smoked meats together with house-made tortillas to Lyn-Lake. Opened June 17, 2019. Read our profile of Alejandro Castillon.

El Cubano, 870 Dodd Rd., West St. Paul ■ El 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. Opened June 14, 2019.

Treats Cereal Bar and Boba, 770 Grand Ave., St. Paul ■ Cereal combined with soft-serve ice cream and boba tea drinks are the hallmarks of this new spot on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. Opened June 13, 2019.

Olive and Lamb, 2424 University Ave N., Minneapolis ■ 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. Opened June 11, 2019.

Magic Noodle, 1337 University Ave. W., St. Paul ■ The former Taste of Thailand has reopened with new, hand-pulled noodles on the menu. Opened June 10, 2019.

Duluth Coffee Company (satellite location at Hoops Brewing), 325 S. Lake Ave., Duluth ■ A second location for Duluth Coffee Company, extending its footprint into Duluth’s popular Canal Park neighborhood and operated in conjunction with the Ripple Bar at Hoops Brewing. Opened June 1, 2019. Read our Duluth and Superior food roundup, “Taste of the Twin Ports.”

RECENTLY CLOSED (Up to 2 Months)

Breaking Bread in Minneapolis closed for dinner service on July 25 /// Photo via Breaking Bread Facebook

Tori Ramen ■ The pioneering pork-free St. Paul ramen shop is shutting its doors but its sister restaurant (and noodle factory), Tori 44, will remain open. Will close August 31.

Kafe 421 ■ The Dinkytown stalwart has called it quits after 16 years in business. Closed July 31.

Corner Table ■ Corner Table was one of the foundational stalwarts of the Minnesota farm-to-table scene under both the original chef Scott Pampuch and the Thomas Boemer / Nick Rancone team that followed. Closed July 31.

Mac’s Industrial Sports Bar (moving) ■ The high-volume Minneapolis sports bar Mac’s is moving to 310 E. Hennepin Ave. as of early August. Closed at old location July 28.

Breaking Bread ■ One of the best-known Minnesota soul food restaurants, Breaking Bread, announced a closure this summer that may or may not be permanent; the nonprofit that runs the restaurant hopes to reopen in autumn, but nothing definitive has been announced. Closed July 25.

Snuffy’s Malt Shop (St. Paul location only) ■ The nostalgia (and milkshake) merchants of Snuffy’s has closed one of their numerous location, the high-profile spot in St. Paul that has been in business for nearly 40 years. Will close July 25.

MN Slice ■ Keg and Case’s pizza shop, operated by the Rose Street Cafe / Patisserie 46 group, has shut its doors. Closed July 15.

Famous Dave’s (Calhoun Square location) ■ 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. Closed July 13.

Lucky Cricket (temporary closure) ■ Andrew Zimmern’s controversial Chinese-inspired eatery in St. Louis Park announced a two-week closure for unspecified remodeling on July 4. Closed July 4; slated to re-open at an indeterminate date in the near future. The restaurant is currently hiring for many positions. Read our review of Lucky Cricket, “(Un)Lucky Cricket.”

Bistro La Roux ■ 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. Closed June 29.

Fire and Whiskey ■ The newest piece of the Justin Sutherland / Madison Restaurant Group empire, opened in March, has already shut its doors. Closed June 28.

Marla’s Caribbean ■ Marla’s, a beloved South Minneapolis institution known for its chickpea doubles and other Trinidadian fare, has called it quits after a decade-plus run. Closed June 15.

UPCOMING (Most Imminent to Furthest Out)

Kieran’s Kitchen is the newest addition to the Food Building in Minneapolis // Photo courtesy of Kierans Kitchen

Kieran’s Kitchen at the Food Building, 117 14th Ave. NE, Minneapolis  ■ A new cafe, deli, and bar at the Food Building to replace the former Draft Horse, helmed by well-regarded chef Ian Gray. Opens August 2, 2019.

Vann, 4016 Shoreline Dr., Spring Park ■ Chef Erik Skaar (Bachelor Farmer, Tilia) brings a Scandinavian-themed seafood spot to the shores of Lake Minnetonka. Opening August 10, 2019.

Thr3 Jack, 729 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis ■ Six state-of-the-art golf simulators and elevated comfort food will define this new 200-seat restaurant in the North Loop’s soon-to-open Nordic mixed-use complex. Opens Summer 2019.

FireBox Deli, 1585 Marshall Ave., St. Paul ■ This north Minneapolis BBQ favorite is opening an outpost at the busy intersection of Snelling and Marshall in St. Paul. Opens Summer 2019.

Provision Community Restaurant, 2940 Harriet Ave., Minneapolis ■ A shared community kitchen and pay-what-you-can cafe are at the heart of this new business in the former Salty Tart space. Opens Summer 2019.

Pearl and the Thief, 811 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis ■ This former Stillwater-based restaurant is in the process of relocating to downtown Minneapolis, colocating with the Moxy Downtown Minneapolis hotel and Ironclad Residential development. Opens Summer 2019.

The Nordic Galley Group project, 729 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis ■ A four-restaurant food hall / incubator in the new Nordic development. Part of a series of Galley Group incubator spaces including spots in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Detroit. Opens Summer 2019.

Graze Provisions and Libations, 525 N. 3rd St., Minneapolis ■ A new North Loop food hall with an exclusive emphasis on chef-driven dining. Opens August 15, 2019.

just/us, 275 4th St. E., St. Paul ■ This chef-driven collective restaurant, open for about a year at 465 Wabasha Street, is reopening with support from crowdfunding. Opens Summer 2019. Read our review, “Raw Talent.”

Snack Bar, 800 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis ■ The couple between 112 Eatery, Burch, and Bar La Grassa (Isaac Becker and Nancy St. Pierre) are opening a New York-inspired pizza slice shop and wine bar in the former Be’Wiched space. Opens Late Summer 2019.

Black Walnut Bakery, 3145 Hennepin Ave. South, Minneapolis ■ Baker Sarah Botcher is taking her cult-favorite wholesale baking business, known for its croissants, into a bricks-and-mortar space. Opens September 2019.

New Vestalia Hospitality Concept [Name TBD], 1432 W. 31st St., Minneapolis ■ A new spot from Ann Kim’s restaurant group focused on tacos wrapped in handmade, traditional tortillas. 2019.

Dayton’s Food Hall & Market, 700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis ■ Major new 40,000-square-foot food hall curated by Andrew Zimmern. 2019.

Unleashed: Hounds and Hops, 200 E. Lyndale Ave., Minneapolis ■ A dog-focused tap house, dog park, and eatery located near the Minneapolis Farmers Market. Early 2020.

Malcolm Yards Market, 501 30th Ave. SE, Minneapolis ■  A food hall that will capitalize on its proximity to Surly’s massive brewery/restaurant complex. Spring 2020.

The Sioux Chef Restaurant at Water Works, On the Mississippi River, behind the Mill City Museum ■ A restaurant focused on American Indian cuisine as imagined by Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef. Currently delayed; as per Dana Thompson (co-owner / COO of Sioux Chef), “We are at the mercy of the Park Board project and we keep getting notified that Waterworks has encountered a series of delays. As you know, this project is an archeological dig, so add that on to what it takes to open a restaurant, and there are a few challenges.” 2020.

Correction: The addresses for Alemar and Kieran’s Kitchen at the Food Building were incorrect in the original post. They have been updated.