The Mill: All-girl school of rock in the works in St. Paul

Babes In Toyland drummer Lori Barbero // Photo courtesy First Avenue, Tumblr

Babes In Toyland drummer Lori Barbero // Photo courtesy First Avenue, Tumblr

Finally, some news we can all get on board with: Babes in Toyland drummer Lori Barbero, St. Paul visual artist Chris Larson, and female musician Corey Avery have proposed a rehearsal studio space catered specifically to girls between ages of six and 15 who want to rock.

“It’ll be all about empowering these girls,” Barbero told the Star Tribune. “We want it to be really fun for them, and not just something their parents are pushing them to do, or the kind of place where they’re told what’s right or wrong when it comes to making music.” The informal rock school is yet unnamed, a task Barbero and Larson want to leave up to the students.

The concept is roughly inspired by Grant Hart, close friend of Barbero and Larson and drummer for punk band Hüsker Dü who passed away this past September. While the school won’t be officially associated with the foundation being started in Hart’s name dedicated to female artists, the space will use some of Hart’s old equipment.

In order to raise the funds needed to get the studio off the ground, a GoFundMe page was created January 1, and has already garnered over a quarter of its $20,000 goal. According to the page, donations will go toward things like instruments for each girl to take home, creation of album covers, promo materials, and—most importantly—studio recording time. The online fundraiser runs until February 14.

The proposed space would be inside Larson’s studio complex, where the trio hope to teach girls the basics of rock, eventually writing their own songs and recording them. If there was ever be anything that would make us want to re-enter our pre-pubescent years, it’s definitely this.


Bauhaus Brew Labs has taken its marketing videos to the next level, teaming up with the filmmakers at Urban Mountain to create a shot-for-shot redux of the classic “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” cave scene to announce their imperial sparkling ale, Über Düber, is coming to cans instead of bottles. Bauhaus is also currently undergoing a complete brewery and taproom renovation, but beer-drinkers can still get a beer in the brewery’s “Cave of Wonders,” a temporary heated outdoor tent complete with industrial heaters and turf to keep patrons comfortably warm.

The Viking Bar closed amid an ownership dispute and the building has been put up for sale, according to a report by The Current. The West Bank Minneapolis bar and music venue opened in 1959, closed in 2006, and was reopened in 2016 by present owners Patrick L. Johnston and husband-and-wife duo Amy and Aaron Britt.

Now that the air outside is positively balmy with temperatures in the double digits, OxCart Ale House is planning to open a 10-foot ice bar on its rooftop patio this Thursday at 6pm. Carol March, Madison Restaurant Group president (and a 2018 Growler Trailblazer), told the Pioneer Press, “We’ll keep it open until it melts. It’s Minnesota, so you never know what the weather’s going to be like.”

Dogfish Head has introduced a limited-release beer designed for the benefit of your survival. It’s The End Of the Wort As We Know It, inspired by the R.E.M. song, is brewed with nutrient-rich ingredients like chia seed, flax seed, purple sweet potatoes, rose hips, spelt, oats, and quinoa, giving the drinker eight times more vitamin B than your average lager and near the daily suggested dose of folic acid. In addition to the added nutrients, the beer comes complete with everything you need to survive: a brewery-branded Swiss Army knife, a paracord, and a survival blanket.

Surly Brewing and HopCat are partnering up for a special Super Bowl tap takeover. Starting January 28, HopCat will have 52—yes, 52—Surly beers on tap, in a nod to Super Bowl LII staging something of a city takeover the following Sunday (some would argue it’s already started). The selection will include an extra special release of 11-year vertical tasting of Surly anniversary beers and seven varieties of Darkness, Surly’s Russian imperial stout.

Giving us something we never knew we needed, Sweden’s PangPang Brewery has created a 10 percent ABV, six-ounce Shower Beer that—get this—doubles as a conditioner. Whether this is a multitasker’s blessing or a nothing more than a gimmick lies squarely in the hand of the beer holder.

The newest mind-boggling trend has hit Silicon Valley: raw water. The surge in sales of Live Water’s unfiltered, untreated water around the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas has many scratching their heads, both for its ridiculous cost—around $36.99 per two-gallon bottle—and for its clearly harmful components including, but not limited to, E. coli bacteria, viruses, parasites, and carcinogenic compounds.

The “New Nye’s” has pushed it’s opening date to January 11, after initially announcing their grand reopening to happen by Christmas. The comeback of the beloved polka bar won’t have any polka, but instead will have a grand piano to start, with multi-piece bands to start playing later down the line.


Jimmy Red Corn // Photo courtesy The Bitter Southerner blog

Jimmy Red Corn // Photo courtesy The Bitter Southerner blog

Jimmy Red is a name most commonly associated with fine bourbon whiskey, but recently it’s been experiencing a rebirth with its original namesake—the rich, blood-red strain of corn that almost went extinct with the early 2000s passing of the last bootlegger who cultivated it. Luckily, two ears were salvaged from his plot and given to a local farmer, who had no clue as to its value. Since then it’s landed in the hands of world-renowned chefs like Sean Brock and our very own Gavin Kaysen.

Tuesday, January 9 is the last day to partake in a roast beef sandwich from Maverick’s. The family behind the institution, serving up near-perfect meat sandwiches since 1999, abruptly announced yesterday that today would be the restaurant was closing. The statement they released simply reads, “We are very grateful to our loyal customers who has supported us over the years and we hope to see you one last time.”

The University of Minnesota Medical School is exploring a new form of possible treatment: cooking. With a new course called The Food Matters for Health Professionals, students are being taught by both a doctor and a chef to understand the relationship between the art of cooking and its medical benefits. By focusing on health issues like obesity, diabetes and hypertension, the class hopes to highlight the importance of prevention through healthy eating, as well as treatment.

A delicatessen specializing in Montreal-style bagels will open near the corner of Lake and Lyndale in Minneapolis, previously the location of Spill the Wine and Tinto Cocina + Cantina, respectively. Adam Eaton of Saint Dinette, Laurel Elm, and Tim Niver will run the restaurant, yet unnamed, which will feature bagels that are thinner and denser than the traditional New York style, and boiled in honey before finished in a wood-fired oven.

After three years of serving up Arizona-Mexican style tacos, fajitas, and hand-crafted margaritas, Saguaro has closed its South Minneapolis doors for good. The restaurant’s Facebook page announced their last day, January 7, along with the bittersweet notion, “all good things must come to an end.”

At last, a story of urban development that doesn’t end in sadness: a proposed redevelopment project could spell brand-new, bigger digs for the St. Paul barbecue institution, Big Daddy’s Barbecue. Nonprofit Neighborhood Development Center has proposed to tear down the current home of Big Daddy’s on the corner of University Avenue and Dale Street, and rebuilding a six-story building with affordable senior housing, green space, and commercial space.

With looming threat of fungi and disease, scientists are racing to save the world’s cacao trees through gene editing. Cacao is native to the tropics, where various deadly strains of fungi also thrive. Using a genetic tool named CRISPR-Cas9, scientists are hoping to snip out portions of DNA found in the plant that make it susceptible to infection, increasing its resistance to disease in the face of increased dangers imposed by global warming.


Lake Superior, on the left, and Mount St. Helens respective Twitter accounts exchanged a somewhat heated barrage of tweets // Lake Superior photo by Brian Kaufenberg; Mount St. Helens photo by Harry Glicken USGS CVO

Lake Superior, on the left, and Mount St. Helens respective Twitter accounts exchanged a somewhat heated barrage of tweets // Lake Superior photo by Brian Kaufenberg; Mount St. Helens photo by Harry Glicken USGS CVO

In times when it seems the world revolves around the Twitter feud du jour, one fight in particular is especially bringing the heat: Lake Superior v. Mount St. Helens. Provoked by the account behind the infamous volcano, our dear lake [‘s Twitter account] has come under attack, being labeled as nothing more than a #WannabeOcean. While the two natural landmarks are each awesome in their own rights, we all know which one is—ahem—superior.

After a year of laying dormant, the Varsity Theater will be open once again next month. Since previous owner Jason McLean—who shuttered the venue following a number of sexual abuse lawsuits—ran off to California, the new ownership recruited Live Nation to bring live music back to the theater. Shows are now booked from February through April, suggesting a brighter times ahead for the Dinkytown venue.

A Minnesota-based climber and his climbing partner will attempt to make climbing history by ascending a 17,000-foot peak in Canada near the border of Alaska. If they succeed, Grand Marais native Lonnie Dupre and Canadian Pascale Marceau would be the first to summit the peak of Mount Lucania in the winter, with Marceau making her own history by being one of the first woman to ascend a high-altitude peak during the winter.

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 [email protected]