The Mill: Blue Door Pub opening Wednesday in Lyn-Lake

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 at its new Lyn-Lake location // Photo via Blue Door’s Instagram

The newest Blue Door Pub location in Lyn-Lake is set to open to the public Wednesday. The burger joint took over the space after the Country Bar closed its doors in September.

When news broke that Country Bar would close, owner Todd Smith said he was approached by representatives from the restaurant group that owns Blue Door with an offer to lease the building out, which he accepted.

He told City Pages, “What they suggested made a whole lot of sense. What they can generate in terms of food… a space that small, it just really needs to be well-utilized all the time. With the dynamics of Uptown, to have the space consistently busy, would be a great utilization.”

The first Blue Door Pub opened on Selby and Fairmont in St. Paul in a building with—you guessed it—a blue door. Since then they’ve been rapidly expanding, most recently opening a location in the Como neighborhood near the University of Minnesota. While they’re most widely-known for their burgers (specifically juicy lucys), our very own Growler readers crowned them in our 2017 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Awards for serving up the best wings in the Cities.


FINNEGANS Brew Co's new brewery and taproom will open in March // Rendering courtesy of FINNEGANS

FINNEGANS Brew Co’s new brewery and taproom will open in March // Rendering courtesy of FINNEGANS

FINNEGANS is planning to officially open the doors of its downtown Minneapolis brewery in March. For 17 years since the charitable brewery was established, it’s never had its own brewery to call home. It will move out of its current location at Summit into its new space. Co-founder and CEO Jacquie Berglund says this will both expand brewing capacity and create maximum social impact, with the implementation of a unique membership program.

Indeed Brewing is teaming up with South Minneapolis Italian eatery Terzo Restaurant & Wine Bar to release a Wooden Soul barrel-aged sour ale. This will be the first collaboration featuring barrels that have been hand-picked from the Wooden Soul barrel room, resulting in a beer that is wine-like with notes of tart red cherry and raisin. Terzo Barrel Blend will be on tap at the restaurant starting January 24.

St. Paul’s 11 Wells Spirits is in the process of constructing a cocktail room at their distillery, according to a post on their Facebook page.

A former personal assistant to a Goldman Sachs executive allegedly stole over $1.2 million worth of rare wines from his boss. The bandit ran the operation from 2014 until he was caught in 2016, allegedly having stolen and resold seven bottles of Burgundy from French estate Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, each bottle valued at around $133,650.

An investigation into Canton, Ohio-based brewery equipment supplier SysTech Stainless Works has been taken over by the FBI. The company has been accused of selling defective equipment to several small breweries around the area, as well as failing to provide equipment in spite of collecting tens of thousands of dollars in deposits.

Bacardi Limited announced that it plans to buy Patrón Spirits International in a deal that values the tequila brand at $5.1 billion. If the deal goes through, it will make Bacardi the second-largest spirits company in market share by value in the U.S. market.

The Brewers Association announced that founder and past president Charlie Papazian will exit the association on January 23, 2019, to mark his 70th birthday and 40 years of building and bolstering the craft beer community. Papazian founded the American Homebrewers Association and Association of Brewers (later to become the BA) in the 1970s, and the Great American Beer Festival in 1982, virtually paving the way for craft beer to grow into what we know it as today.

For those who always find themselves in search of local selections from their liquor stores, there is now a Minnesota-only liquor store in Northeast Minneapolis. Ombibulous is the Twin Cities’ first liquor store to stock solely Minnesota-made libations, from craft beer to spirits to a selection of wine.


Saint Agnes Baking Company delivery trucks // Photo courtesy Saint Agnes Baking Company Facebook

Saint Agnes Baking Company delivery trucks // Photo via Saint Agnes Baking Company Facebook

Saint Agnes Bakery abruptly ceased distribution of their popular baked goods, especially well-known among popular vendors with stands at U.S. Bank Stadium like Revival and AZ Canteen. While the bakery wouldn’t comment on the reason initially, sources confirm that the decision was made in light of an audit notice by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The closure has left several vendors scrambling for a new distributor just two weeks before the Super Bowl.

Devil’s Advocate has announced a change in where they are reopening on Nicollet Mall. The restaurant, whose previous downtown location closed in April to make way for new development, will now be opening in the former home of Masa, an upscale restaurant that closed its doors in 2015. Owner Erik Forsberg told MSP Magazine that they plan to throw together an opening in time for the Super Bowl, then will close for full renovations before reopening again.

Bryn Mawr staple Sparks closed last weekend after six years in business, making way for new Ecuadorean bistro La Mesa. Spouses Juan Yunga and Ann Carlson-Yunga are aiming to open the new Latin American-inspired restaurant by February 1, with plans to utilize Sparks’ sole wood-burning oven. The couple is still crafting the menu, but does intend to carry over the pizza that Sparks was famous for, as well as South American cuisine.

Chicago-based hot dog haven Portillo’s opened a second location today in Maple Grove at the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes. The opening came after a fight with the Maple Grove City Council, who originally moved to block the opening, unaware of just how many hot dog lovers would take issue with the decision. After a passionate appeal, the Council approved the move in April.


An American Ninja Warrior challenger dressed as Batman // Photo by Blackfeather, Wikipedia

An American Ninja Warrior challenger dressed as Batman // Photo by Blackfeather, Wikipedia

TV competition series “American Ninja Warrior” is coming to U.S. Bank Stadium, with two qualifying rounds scheduled for May 25 and 26. The show challenges both elite athletes and amateurs to complete various obstacles like the “salmon ladder” and the “warped wall,” both of which sound like hardly a walk in the park.

The Minnesota Museum for American Art is kicking off the construction of an expanded space with a groundbreaking ceremony at 10am on January 30. The M will expand within its current home in Historic Pioneer Endicott, which has housed its gallery space since 2013. The new space will feature a new, larger gallery, community gathering spaces, and a sculpture court, over which visitors will find a “sky bridge” extending skyway access into the museum, to open to the public in late 2018.

Forget the Eagles: following the Vikings’ stunning win over the Saints, Vikings fans donated over $100k to Saints punter Thomas Morstead’s nonprofit in acknowledgment of his sportsmanship. Morstead announced that he’s making a trip back to Minnesota to personally deliver the check to Children’s Minnesota on behalf of his charity, What You Give Will Grow, which focuses on pediatric cancer.

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts named a new producing art director, Rod Kaats. Kaats is a director and producer who has worked across four continents, both on and off Broadway, over the last 30 years. He will assume his newest position starting February 1, succeeding James A. Rocco, who stepped down from the Ordway last year.

Lake Calhoun will hereby be known as Bde Maka Ska, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The lake, which was bafflingly named after a supporter of slavery and past Vice President with no real connection to Minnesota (aside from authorizing the construction of Fort Snelling), will return to its original Dakota title, meaning “White Earth Lake.” Opponents of the decision say they plan to ask the Minnesota Court of Appeals to overturn the decision.

Pitcher Caleb Thielbar has become the first St. Paul Saints player to have a contract purchased three times by Major League teams: first by the Twins in 2011; then the Florida Marlins; and now the Detroit Tigers.

Park Square Theatre announced that, after 43 years with the theater, Richard Cook plans to retire from his position as artistic director on September 1. Richard joined Park Square in its first year as the designer for the production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” then took over as artistic director in 1980. “Among all my other responsibilities in those first years was to thaw the radiator pipes with a propane torch,” Cook said in the theater’s statement.

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]