Order Up! It’s the Great Minnesotan Bake-Off

Photo via Hot Hands Pie and Biscuit Facebook

Photo via Hot Hands Pie and Biscuit Facebook

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: There seems to be no limit to Minnesota’s interest in baked goods—the opening of the highly anticipated Black Walnut brick-and-mortar space in Uptown comes along with the debut of St. Paul’s ambitious Hot Hands, the ever ascending success of Marc Heu Patisserie Paris on University Avenue, an upcoming Rustica expansion at Southdale, the new Rose Street Patisserie next door to Keg and Case, and the upcoming Asa’s Bakery in South Minneapolis. Dig a bit further, and there are cute little craft pie companies aplenty that are starting up (and/or ramping up for the holidays)—everything from Fruit and Grain to Vikings and Goddesses to Pie and Mighty.

There’s a bit of a perfect storm going on here—the glamorization of high-end pastry by way of television (and other media) is being fed by a native wellspring of baking talent that stems, at least in part, from the long proud baking traditions of the Scandinavian and Germanic countries that fed immigration to Minnesota during the formative 19th Century. We seem to be just a couple of years away from being able to field enough native talent to make an all-Minnesota spin on the “Great British Bake Off” a viable proposition.

RECENTLY OPENED (Up to 2 Months)

Monkey Temple's Chicken Tikka Masala & sidecar // Photo by Tj Turner

Monkey Temple’s Chicken Tikka Masala & sidecar // Photo by Tj Turner

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. Opened November 5.

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 brick-and-mortar space. Opened November 4.

Ichigo Tokyo Crepes,  3758 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis ■ Fish Bowl Poke’s move into the North Loop’s Graze project opened up this spot next to Ramen Kazama; a popular Japanese-style crepe pop-up is seizing the opportunity and opening its bricks and mortar location. Opened November 1.

Estelle, 1806 St Clair Ave, St Paul ■ The flavors of Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal) have popped up in the former Bottle Rocket space in St. Paul. Opened October 25.

Hot Hands Pie and Biscuit, 272 Snelling Ave. S., St Paul ■ Pie (both sweet and savory) and biscuits take center stage at this ambitious new St. Paul bakery. Opened October 21.

Baldamar, 1642 County Road B2 West, Roseville ■ Aged beef and giant, Manny’s-esque desserts are the highlights of this upscale restaurant near Rosedale Center, owned by Randy Stanley (of 6Smith in Wayzata). Opened October 16.

Monkey Temple Tandoori Grill and Ale House, 272 Snelling Ave S #200, St. Paul ■ Indian fusion cuisine and craft beer in a crisp, modern space. Opened October 11. Read our review. 

Provision Community Restaurant, 2940 Harriet Ave. S, Minneapolis Pay-what-you-can is the rule at this new community eatery with a focus on healthy, family-style meals. Opened October 11.

The Block Food + Drink, 7007 Walker Street, St. Louis Park ■ A new restaurant and dog-friendly patio by Craft & Crew (Stanley’s, The Howe, and more). Opened October 8.

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. Opened October 7.

Snack Bar, 800 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis ■ The couple behind 112 Eatery, Burch, and Bar La Grassa (Isaac Becker and Nancy St. Pierre) have opened a New York-inspired pizza slice shop and wine bar in the former Be’Wiched space. Opened October 6.

Hope Breakfast Bar, 1 S Leech St., St. Paul ■ Approachable and elevated breakfast options will be the mainstays of this soon-to-open St. Paul breakfast spot. Opened September 26.

Jun Szechuan Kitchen and Bar, 730 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis ■ After a temporary closure, this dumplings and noodles spot is opening again in the North Loop. Opened September 15.

RECENTLY CLOSED (Up to 2 Months)

Photo via O’Gara’s Facebook

O’Gara’s (Cancelled Re-opening) ■ The 77-year-old St. Paul Irish pub / landmark will not be reopening after a long shutdown for renovation, but the brand will continue at the Minnesota State Fair and do business as a catering company. Announced November 4. 

Rose Street Patisserie (Linden Hills Location) ■ The pioneering location of Rose Street Patisserie has closed and will become a Daniel Del Prado project to be announced at a later time. Closed November 3. 

Funky Grits ■ On the heels of a triumphant Minnesota State Fair tour, the South Minneapolis grits restaurant is shutting its doors and reinventing itself as a community cafe in a new location on Bloomington Ave and 37th Street. Closed October 5. Read our story about black-owned restaurants, Minnesota Soul.

The Dough Room ■ The new and swanky pizza (and more!) Wayzata restaurant has called it quits. Closed October 5. Read our review of their margherita pizza.

Seventh Street Social ■ After six years of service, the West 7th Street restaurant is shutting its doors and reopening as an event space. Closed September 29. 

Libertine ■ After five years in (and on the rooftop of) Calhoun Square, the Parasole group-owned restaurant Libertine has shut down. Closed September 29. 

Elephant Bar ■ A few months into its opening run, Lowertown’s Elephant Bar has shut its doors. Closed September 24. Read our review of their kebab roll.

Pizza Nea ■ One of the metro’s first and best-regarded Neapolitan-style pizza restaurants has called it quits after 17 years. Close September 21. 

Copper Pot Indian Grill ■ This Indian food mainstay has closed after seven years in business. Closed September 18. 

Chicago’s Taste Authority (St. Paul location) ■ The West 7th location of Chicago Taste Authority shut its doors this month. Closed September 12. 

Delicata (Reopened as Foxtrot Burger Spot) ■ This Matty O’Reilly spot in Como Park closed for the State Fair and reopened as a burger joint. Closed/reopened September 10. 

It’s Greek to Me ■ After nearly four decades of operation, this Greek mainstay known for its plates of flaming cheese has called it quits. Closed September 9. 

UPCOMING (Most Imminent to Furthest Out)


Photo via Pajarito’s website

Potluck Food Hall, Rosedale Center, 1595 Hwy. 36 W., Roseville ■ A new seven-restaurant food court to replace the recently defunct Revolution Food Hall in Rosedale Center. Opens November 12, 2019.

Forest to Fork’s Urban Wok, Keg and Case at 928 7th St W, St. Paul ■ A new, restaurant-focused side of the Forest to Fork mushroom and wild foods business in Keg and Case, featuring vegan and vegetarian stir-fry and noodle options. Opens Autumn 2019.

Asa’s Bakery, 3507 23rd Ave. S., Minneapolis ■ Midtown Farmers Market vendor Asa Diebolt is bringing bagels, naturally leavened bread and bialys to a South Minneapolis bricks and mortar location. Opens November 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 Autumn 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 Autumn 2019. Read our review, “Raw Talent.”

Cajun Twist, 3761 Bloomington Ave, Minneapolis ■ This Cajun-inspired restaurant will be moving from its current location at the trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park to the former Marla’s location in South Minneapolis. Opens December 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. Opening timing unclear.

The Lumberjack, 123 North 2nd St, Suite 102, Stillwater ■ Axe throwing, board games, and comfort food are among the key draws at this upcoming Stillwater restaurant. Late 2019.

Pajarito (Edina location), 3910 W 50th St, Edina ■ A second location of the popular West 7th modern Mexican restaurant is opening up in the former Tejas space in Edina. Late 2019.

Sooki and Mimi, 1432 W. 31st St., Minneapolis ■ A new spot from Ann Kim’s restaurant group focused on tacos wrapped in handmade, traditional tortillas plus a basement bar. Early 2020.

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.

Pho Mai, 319 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis ■ A new pho-focused eatery in a former Dinkytown Tim Horton’s, from the owner of the popular MT Noodles in Brooklyn Park. February 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.

Dayton’s Food Hall & Market, 700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis ■ Major new 40,000-square-foot food hall curated by Andrew Zimmern. 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.” 2021.