Book Club, a West Coast-inspired eatery led by restaurateur Kim Bartmann and chef Asher Miller, is opening today at the former home of Cafe Maude in the Armatage neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Miller, who has worked with chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Andrew Zimmern, is crafting a varied menu with everything from lemon herb chicken to green curry mussels with dumplings.
“I think it’s timely,” says Bartmann. “A lot of people are eating later, eating more vegetables, eating more cultures’ cuisines, and that’s what West Coast cuisine means to me.” Bartmann, a local force among Twin Cities restaurateurs, says that this is her first venture in full partnership with someone else. She’s most excited about Miller’s menu, which will heavily utilize the wood-fire grill. “It’s really built to serve a neighborhood. If you live around here, you have a really good variety, and there’s stuff that you want to come back to try. There’s some really exciting flavors.”
A menu of worldly cuisines will be complemented with 12 draft beers, four draft lines of non-alcoholic options like kombucha, nitro cold brew, and root beer, as well as the original craft cocktail program started by Cafe Maude. Book Club is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, and next month the restaurant will roll out delivery and takeout services.
The name was first inspired by Bartmann’s preliminary research for the menu, which led her to three seminal cookbooks from the 1950s. The name is also an ode to the comfortable meeting places that women can traditionally find with book clubs. “It’s just fun,” she says. “There’s the literal reference, but it’s also kind of a tongue-in-cheek reference.”
In light of the holiday season, Vikre Distillery is partnering with non-profit American Forests to give back in their own northwoods way. They will be planting a tree for every bottle sold from restaurants, bars, liquor stores, and Vikre’s own cocktail room between December 1 and 31. American Forests works in forest restoration nationwide, and has already planted over 350,000 trees in the Superior National Forest since 2007.
Modist Brewing received their second cease-and-desist since their opening, this time from none other than Bud Light for Modist’s new Mosaic double IPA “Dilly Dilly.” The messenger for Bud Light appeared in full medieval garb, delivering the message from a scroll in Old English, before offering the Modist team two Super Bowl tickets in consolation.
The Winter Beer Dabbler, the cold-weather event from The Growler’s sister company, has announced its list of breweries and cideries to attend the February 24 event. Over 150 brewers from across the state will be pouring beer and cider for the bundled masses, including Castle Danger, Milk and Honey Ciders, Founders, and many more.
Tattersall Distilling is hosting a party at their cocktail room for the release of their newest Tattersall App on December 7. The free app will boast more than 300 recipes searchable by liquor, skill level, and occasion, as well as lessons on bar skills and making your own syrups. Attendees of the release party have the chance to win a professional home bar kit and some slick Tattersall gear.
West Bank’s biker bar Whiskey Junction has announced that it will close by the end of the year due to Minneapolis’ newly-passed ordinance that will raise the minimum wage to $15. Co-owners Tom O’Shea and Elizabeth “Little” Obregón have said that the lack of a tip credit provision in the new ordinance will drive them out of business, although this decision might’ve jumped the gun as small businesses like theirs won’t have to fully convert to a $15 wage until 2024.
Minnesota Viking Kyle Rudolph and 612Brew are partnering for a limited edition “52 by 612” premium lager, in celebration of the NFL’s 52nd Super Bowl coming to Minnesota. The beer will launch on December 19 and a portion of the proceeds from beer sales will go to Rudolph’s End Zone, a therapeutic play center for teens and children at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.
Blackeye Roasting Company is launching two new canned nitro brews and expanding its distribution to the East Coast. With a new 29,000-square-foot facility up and running, the cold brew company is producing up to 90,000 cans per month to soon be distributed at Lunds & Byerly’s, Super America, independently-owned businesses, and possibly Amazon.
A new 1920’s-era speakeasy has opened up in Northeast above Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room on University. Al’s Place, in homage to infamous gangster Al Capone, can be accessed either through a door outside of Stanley’s with a green light to signify that the speak is open, or through a photo booth tucked inside of Stanley’s. In addition to a bar, there’s also a restaurant that serves up classic Italian fare.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is opening its first Minnesota location in Woodbury in May 2018. The luxury theater chain, based in Texas with other locations nationwide, will have nine theaters fully equipped with reclining seats, as well as a full-scale bar and restaurant offering 32 beers on tap. As if that doesn’t sound luxurious enough, moviegoers can have food delivered right to their theater seat, taking the age-old “dinner and a movie” to a whole new level.
Aquavit Week, an annual event that spans across the nation from Portland to Washington D.C., will be making a stop in at Eat Street Social in Minneapolis for the Aquavit Distillers’ Happy Hour. Eat Street will have a special cocktail menu for the evening featuring aquavit cocktails from local distillers like Tattersall and Skaalvenn.
The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild has named Lauren Bennett McGinty as its newest Executive Director. She has previously worked in communications with the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and the American Society of Brewing Chemists.
The Seventh Street Truck Park is partnering with Pryes Brewing as the brewery’s next restaurant to be featured in their “guest kitchen” series. The Truck Park’s grilled cheese truck will be at the brewery until spring to serve up grilled cheese and soup, thawing the hearts and bodies of frozen beer-drinkers all winter long.
Cajun Boiling celebrated their grand opening on November 28 on the corner of Franklin and Nicollet in Minneapolis. Previously the home of Reverie Café + Bar, the cajun joint quietly took over the space earlier this fall, with news breaking from a city wine and beer license application. They offer classic Louisiana Cajun fare, as well as beer and wine.
The Original on 42nd has closed after six months in business. With just a simple two-sentence announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page, the upscale sandwich shop closed its doors effective December 4.
The owners of Paisley Park are trying to obtain a liquor license for upcoming Super Bowl events to be held at the former home of Prince. Operators are looking to host up to 1,000 attendees for parties surrounding the Big Game, but some are skeptical about the request, considering that Prince himself didn’t allow alcohol at his public events.
Comedian and political activist Chelsea Handler let her My Sister shirt do the talking during her appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” last week. Handler wore a shirt by the Minneapolis clothing company that reads “it’s my body, it’s my choice” and shared a photo of herself with the shirt to her 3.2 million followers. The company donates a portion of every sale to the fight against sex trafficking.
The Grain Belt sign along the Hennepin Avenue bridge will light up again starting December 30 after sitting unlit since 1996. Schell Brewing Co., which owns the landmark, is offering the public a chance to purchase one of the LED lights with a limited-release commemorative package, including a certificate specifying which letter you helped illuminate.
The Minnesota-made rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” that exploded on the holiday charts last year is at the top once again. The track, covered by Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski, is currently topping Spotify’s Viral 50, sitting at #4 on U.S. and #7 globally.
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