Updated May 23, 2019
Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing biweekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Please send any tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THIS WEEK’S GYST: The ambitious new St. Paul food hall Keg and Case (which we explored at some length when it first opened in September, 2018) is evolving as it settles into its niche. The upscale cheese pairing emporium Gazta and Enhancements (which we flagged as a questionable value prospect in our review) is throwing in the silk handkerchief and rebranding with its owners’ more accessible grilled cheese-focused O’Cheeze brand. And after months of delays, the Jamaican-themed Pimento Jamaican Kitchen has finally opened the doors of its Keg and Case location, expanding the market’s relatively slim roster of affordable lunch options. The opening of the Jamaican-themed Pimento somewhat offsets the sad closure of the much loved and well-reviewed Trinidadian Marla’s Caribbean restaurant in South Minneapolis after more than 10 years in business.
All dates are approximate based on best information available; opening dates, in particular, tend to shift around a lot.
RECENTLY OPENED (Up to 2 Months)
Cheese Louise, 4279 Sheridan Ave. S., Minneapolis ■ 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. Opened May 21, 2019.
The Fitz, 173 Western Ave. N., St. Paul ■ 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. Opened May 20, 2019.
Pig Ate My Pizza Kitchen + Brewery (reopening), 4124 W. Broadway Ave., Robbinsdale ■ A popular Travail collective-owned pizzeria has reopened after a renovation that incorporates a brewery into the business model. Opened May 15, 2019.
Pimento Jamaican Kitchen (Keg and Case location), 928 W. 7th St., St. Paul ■ After months of delays, the Keg and Case food hall location of Jamaican street food-restaurant Pimento is now open. Opened May 14, 2019.
The Prodigal Pub, 25 E. 26th St., Minneapolis ■ A British Isles-inspired tavern now open in the former Gyst space near Eat Street. Opened May 9, 2019.
Taco Arcada, 1910 W. Superior St., Duluth ■ The latest new concept from the Duluth Grill / OMC Smokehouse / Corktown Deli team, combining a bar, arcade, and “fresh-Mex” food. Opened May 5, 2019.
Minnesota BBQ Co., 816 Lowry Ave. NE, Minneapolis ■ A mostly catering- and takeout-focused BBQ spot by the team behind Travail. Opened May 3, 2019.
Hamburguesas El Gordo (reopening), 1731 S. Robert St., West St. Paul ■ The St. Paul location of the popular Mexican hamburger restaurant shut down after losing its lease; it reopened this spring. Opens Summer 2019.
Meseret Ethiopian, 3867 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis ■ An East African market and catering operation expands into the world of sit-down food service with this new restaurant concept on Minnehaha. Soft opening April 25, 2019.
Elephant Bar, 213 E. 4th St., Ste. 100, St. Paul ■ A new restaurant by chef Lucas Almendinger replacing the former Hygga space in Lowertown, with some Pakistani flavor influences. Opened April 23.
Don Raúl, 4953 Xerxes Ave., Minneapolis ■ 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. Opened April 12, 2019.
Bark and the Bite, 2186 Marshall Ave., St. Paul ■ 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. Opened April 9, 2019.
Giulia, 215 S. 4th St., Minneapolis ■ 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). Opened April 3, 2019.
Ox Cart Arcade and Rooftop, 255 E. 6th St., St. Paul ■ A reboot of the Ox Cart Ale House, featuring arcade games and boozy snow cones. Opened March 28, 2019.
RECENTLY CLOSED (Up to 2 Months)
Marla’s Caribbean ■ Marla’s, a beloved South Minneapolis institution known for its chickpea doubles and other Trinidadian fare, is calling it quits after a decade-plus run. Will close mid-June.
Lola on the Lake (temporary, due to fire) ■ 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. Closed May 16.
Gazta and Enhancements ■ 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. Closed May 14. Read our review of Gazta and other Keg and Case restaurants in “Case Study.”
Lee’s Liquor Lounge ■ After 62 years of operation, this legendary dive bar and live music venue is calling it quits. Closed May 14.
Russian Tea House ■ Forty years of borscht, piroshki (Russian hamburgers), and folk music come to a close with the shuttering of this charming little University Avenue spot. Closed May 4.
Fitzgerald’s (will reopen) ■ The upscale Cathedral Hill watering hole Fitzgerald’s has shut down in order to be renovated and reopened as the more casual Fitz’s, featuring pizza (including deep dish). Closed May 3.
Meyvn ■ Uptown’s stylish artisan bagel spot called it quits after a bit less than a year of operation. Closed April 21. Read our profile of owner Tim Niver, “Dollars to Dumplings.”
just/us ■ Citing a major bump in rent, the St. Paul-based chef collective known for burgers and clever coursed meals closed on April 20. Read our review, “Raw Talent.”
Martha’s Daughter ■ 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. Closed April 9. Read our Duluth and Superior food roundup, “Taste of the Twin Ports.”
Northern Fires Pizza ■ This popular wood-fired farmers’ market pizza mainstay was slated this spring to revitalize a former Chinese-American spot on East Lake Street, but shelved its plans due to unforeseen “unreasonable requests” from banks (as per a Facebook post). Opening scuttled March 25, 2019.
UPCOMING (Most Imminent to Furthest Out)
Loon Cafe, 426 Saint Peter St., St. Paul ■ A second location for the 37-year-old Minneapolis stalwart of the same name, located in the former Great Waters location. Opens June 2019.
Falls Landing at Artisan Plaza Eatery and Market, 1223 4th St. S., Cannon Falls ■ 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. Opens June 2019.
Prieto, 701 W. Lake St., Minneapolis ■ Alejandro Castillon (Sonora Grill) will be taking advantage of the massive smoker at the old Hasty Tasty location to bring smoked meats together with house-made tortillas to Lyn-Lake. Opens Summer 2019.
A Dozen Excuses (second location), 4328 E. Superior St., Duluth ■ This Superior, Wisconsin-based doughnut bakery is bringing its fresh, classic product to a second location in the Lakeside neighborhood of Duluth. Opens Summer 2019.
Due Focacceria, 475 Fairview Ave. S., St. Paul ■ The former Espresso Royale space is being reinvented as a combination Italian market and restaurant. Opens Summer 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.
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.
Alemar Cheese Co. at The Food Building, 525 N. 3rd St., Minneapolis ■ A well-regarded Mankato-based creamery will open a facility at Northeast Minneapolis’ Food Building, taking the slot once occupied by Lone Grazer. Opens July 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 Summer 2019.
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.
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.
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. 2019.
Malcolm Yards Market, 501 30th Ave. SE, Minneapolis ■ A food hall that will capitalize on its proximity to Surly’s massive brewery/restaurant complex. 2019.