The Mill: Blue Door Pub taking over Country Bar, opening location at MSP International


The Blue Door Pub is bringing its burgers to more hungry patrons with two new locations // Photo via Blue Door's Instagram

The Blue Door Pub is bringing its burgers to more hungry patrons with two new locations // Photo via Blue Door’s Instagram

September 20—September 26

Blue Door Pub is bringing its signature jucy lucys to Uptown Minneapolis and to the Minneapolis–St. Paul Airport.

The owner of The Country Bar in Uptown, Todd Smith, confirmed to City Pages that the bar’s last day of service would be this Saturday, September 30. Smith also confirmed that he would be leasing the building to the restaurant group behind the popular Blue Door establishments. Blue Door’s owners weren’t available for comment.

Smith said that Blue Door management hopes to open the Uptown location by November 1. It will be Blue Door’s fourth location, behind the original St. Paul restaurant, the Longfellow Minneapolis location, and the southeast Como location.

If that weren’t enough for Blucy fans, Blue Door Pub was also one of dozens of new food and drink establishments approved to open locations in Minneapolis–St. Paul International’s Terminal 1. After a successful bidding process, Blue Door Pub, Hi-Lo Diner, Peoples Organic, Tattersall Distilling, and The Cook and The Ox, a new concept from Jack Riebel, who helped reopen St. Paul’s historic Lexington restaurant.


Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery is located in an historic building nearby Bad Weather Brewing on Smith Avenue in St. Paul // Photo via Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery

Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery is located in an historic building nearby Bad Weather Brewing on Smith Avenue in St. Paul // Photo via Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery

On October 1, Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery at 445 Smith Avenue in St. Paul will open its doors to serve beer as a commercial venture for the first time since 1863. Of course, it has seen a bit of history between then and now. What you can expect in the taproom: pints of German-style lager, Pilsner, and Kölsch from the bar; small plates of sausages, wheat pretzels, roasted potatoes from the kitchen; and a warm, fire-lit ambiance against detailed wood furnishings, hand-blown glass windows, and historical artifacts and photographs throughout.

Ashby Brewing Company received its license from the state and brewed its first batch of beer on September 24. The brewery and taproom, based in Ashby, Minnesota, 20 miles south of Fergus Falls, is opening soon.

Maltwerks, a new craft maltster located in Detroit Lakes, delivered craft malt to Ashby Brewing Company for their first brew. The new maltster is just the third craft maltster in the region behind Two Track Malting and Vertical Malt.

Dashfire Bitters owner Lee Egbert is on the move. Between landing a distribution deal with Domaine Select Wine & Spirits that will quadruple Dashfire’s sales, and obtaining a Distilled Spirits Permit with stills at the ready, he has a busy year ahead. Dashfire’s first spirit will likely come near the end of 2018. The number of bitter offerings are 21 and counting.

A new brewery located on Lake Minnetonka held a soft-opening this past weekend. Located on the west side of the lake in Spring Park, Back Channel Brewing is Now Open (Or Damn Close).

The small, elusive, Japanese whiskey bar part of chef Shigeyuki Furukawa’s restaurants finally has a name: Gori Gori Peku. Make a visit to the intimate space on a Friday or Saturday night. To get to it, ask to go upstairs at the Kado No Mise entrance.

In Westfield, New York, Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing has partnered with TimberFish Technologies to build a fish farm on their premises. The project is a bid for closed-loop sustainability—Five & 20’s distilling waste will feed fish, which will in turn become seafood at their in-house restaurant, Bird.

AB InBev is funneling large amounts of money into six brewery locations in Canada via subsidiary Labatt Breweries. Between now and 2020, $460 million will be invested into operations and jobs.

St. Paul’s Fabulous Ferns has filed for bankruptcy and is now seeking partnership or buyout opportunities. Owner Dan Dahlin says his declining health is the primary motivating factor, but that “business is good,” and he would like to keep it open.


The Sioux Chef, a brick-and-mortar restaurant from chef Sean Sherman, is a part of Minneapolis' Water Works project in downtown // Rendering via Minneapolis Parks Foundation's website

The Sioux Chef, a brick-and-mortar restaurant from chef Sean Sherman, is a part of Minneapolis’ Water Works project in downtown // Rendering via Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s website

The Water Works pavilion along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis will have an indigenous food restaurant headed by chef Sean Sherman of The Sioux Chef. Foods will be sans-European influence, focusing on what was found in America hundreds of years ago. The project is expected to come to fruition in 2019.

Surly Brewing Co. announced plans for the Brewer’s Table replacement—pizza! Executive chef Ben Peine and owner Omar Ansari are toying around with New Haven-style ‘za and plan to make ingredients in-house. The second-floor space will get a refresh, too, with the help of design firm Shea.

Taking over the old Upton 43 location, Martina will open under Daniel del Prado. Martina will offer Argentinian seafood on what del Prado says will be a big menu, along with a full bar. Del Prado is also planning to open a Tex-Mex BBQ joint on 55th and Penn Avenue sometime next year.

Al’s Breakfast, the tiny diner in Dinkytown, is now serving supper on Friday and Saturday nights. The menu will be the same plus hot dogs.

The original Pourhouse will be expanding next year. Pourhouse Uptown is taking over what used to be Coup d’Etat—closing its doors October 1 after a three-and-a-half year run—and another Pourhouse (yet to be named) will be taking the place of The Library Bar in Dinkytown, details TBD.

Dalton & Wade now offers “Bottomless Brunch” on Sundays. Take part in a family-style spread—from smoked brisket to donut holes—or an individual plate like a smoked trout Benny. But what good would brunch at a whiskey bar be without booze? Try whiskey-meets-cold press in their “Revolver.”

Travail chef Kale Thome is finalizing plans to open a barbecue restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis, dishing out smoked ribs, brisket sammies, smoked duck, apple sausage, baked beans, and house made pickles. Until the grand opening in spring 2018, Minnesota BBQ Co. will be prepared out of the Travail kitchen, and be served at the Robbinsdale eatery and local breweries.

Kuzina Bakery is open at Cleveland and Marshall in St. Paul, every day from 8am–8pm, for donuts, pastries, filled croissants, and more.


Renovations to the Trylon Cinema are complete // Photo via Trylon's Instagram

Renovations to the Trylon Cinema are complete // Photo via Trylon’s Instagram

Minnesota’s only repertory movie theater, Trylon Cinema, is up and running again at its 33rd Street and Minnehaha Avenue location after a much-needed renovation. When the microcinema opened in 2009, it had just 50 seats. In its new design, the Trylon now holds a comfortable 100, is wheelchair accessible, and equipped with a popcorn popper that fills the lobby with buttery smells. Check out what’s playing.

The Minnesota Lynx almost came back from a 26-point deficit to steal Game 1 away from the Los Angeles Sparks Sunday afternoon. Almost. Unfortunately, the Sparks’ Chelsea Gray hit a jumper with two seconds left on the clock, with LA beating Minnesota 85-84. Game 2 tips off tonight, 7pm CST, at Williams Arena.

Nora McInerney’s podcast “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” is holding a live performance at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on November 17. Her guests will include Dessa and comedian Alyssa Limperis, and the evening will be scored by musician Geoffrey Wilson.

Dallas-based Topgolf closed on a purchase last week of 14 acres in Brooklyn Center for $5.6 million, where Regal Cinema has been for years. The plan is to build one of Topgolf’s high-tech, digital golf centers and bring some positive vibes, jobs, and leisure to the North Minneapolis area.

This Friday and Saturday marks the second annual Rummage event put on by The Beer Dabbler and Growler Magazine. Minnesota vendors of all kinds will have their work for sale in the West End Market at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and there will be live music, food trucks, and beer (by Bent Paddle). Tickets are $8 advance, $10 at the gate, and give you access to the event on both days.

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]