The Mill: NOLO’s Kitchen & Bar opens October 9, Basement Bar not long after

NOLO Kitchen & Bar is going into the Maytag Building in Minneapolis // Rendering by AWH Architects

NOLO Kitchen & Bar is going into the Maytag Building in Minneapolis // Rendering by AWH Architects

September 13—September 19

Going for a bit of a “where everyone knows your name” vibe, NOLO’s Kitchen & Bar will open its doors to the public on Monday, October 9 in the historic Gardner Hardware Building at 515 Washington Avenue. Look for an announcement about NOLO’s companion space downstairs, the Basement Bar that will open in a few weeks.

“The Basement Bar,” in the words of co-owner Marty Collins, “is not like your parents’ basement—we’re not worried about spilling drinks or popcorn on the floor. Come to have fun, play games, hear good tunes and get sauced at the food truck window.”

The joint venture is well-stocked with Collins, Brett Johnson, and chef Peter Hoff running the show. The three native Minnesotans are no strangers to hospitality and good food. Collins owns McCoy’s Public House as well as other restaurants in Kansas City, Johnson has run The Hilltop Restaurant in Edina for the last 40 years.

NOLO’s menu is modern comfort food available at all three meals—including a malted waffle with caramelized meringue in the morning, burgers and wings for lunch, and plank-roasted salmon and dry-aged ribeye for dinner.


Drekker Brewing is expanding into a second brewery and taproom // Photo via Drekker Brewing

Drekker Brewing is expanding into a second brewery and taproom // Photo via Drekker Brewing

Fargo-based Drekker Brewing plans to renovate and move into one of the city’s historic buildings, turning it into a destination brewery and taproom. The new space will triple Drekker’s current square footage, making it easier to brew more beer and host more people via taproom, event spaces, and a patio.

Urban Forage Winery and Cider House has been working for some time on a cider, mead, and wine taproom on East Lake Street, and the latest news shows they’re close to opening. This last weekend they hosted a small sneak-peek party and they’re hiring staff for the new location. An official open date has not yet been announced.

The Twin Cities Iron Bartender competition is around the corner, running from October 8–29 over four separate events at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall. The friendly competition pits teams of local bartenders against one another, testing their mixology skills when faced with a mystery ingredient. The Growler’s John Garland will be one of the judges at the opening round on October 8.

If you’re heading south of the cities, visit the newly-opened Shakopee Brewhall. Their family-friendly taproom offers a red ale, lager, brown ale, saison, and an IPA.

Florida Brewers Guild reported that many brewers up and down the state lost power during Hurricane Irma and experienced various levels of damage to facilities that have affected production and distribution. So many businesses have been affected across the South due to both Irma and Harvey that even if breweries are able to distribute, many places have not been able to accept deliveries. Breweries such as Oskar Blues and Cigar City Brewing have helped by providing clean drinking water to Floridians. With many of their own employees affected by the storm, Yuengling Brewery donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross towards hurricane relief.

In Colorado, Lone Tree Brewing Company, Lost Highway Brewing Company, and 105 West Brewing Company will become the state’s first to brew craft beer with recycled water. An engineering firm named CH2M is working to popularize sustainable water via a certain technology that produces direct potable reuse (DPR) purified water, and draw attention to the fact that it takes 60 ounces of water to produce 12 ounces of that beverage we all love so much.

By the end of 2017, Enel Green Power’s wind farm “Thunder Ranch” will be up and running and one of it’s customers will be Anheuser-Busch (AB). This will bring AB InBev 30 percent closer to making good on its commitment to rely entirely on renewable sources for its purchased electricity by the year 2025.


St. Clair Broiler // Photo by Jerry Huddleston, Flickr

St. Clair Broiler // Photo by Jerry Huddleston, Flickr

After 61 years, the St. Clair Broiler announced the St. Paul restaurant will serve their last flame-broiled burgers and malts on September 30.

You may already be familiar with Molly Miller’s gluten free donuts and muffins, but now you’ll be able to find them in their very own storefront. In October, Miller will open Sift Gluten Free near Lake Nokomis, complete with a kitchen, coffee bar, freezer for take-and-bake goods, and seats for 20.

If you frequent Lowertown, you may have heard that Golden’s closed its doors this month after 20 years of service. The established deli will still be present in the St. Paul Farmer’s Market on weekends. In Golden’s old space, Biergarten Germania plans to bringing together beer, food, and televised soccer matches.

The Fulton Taproom Kitchen is a new addition to the brewery, but it’s not quite what you think. Chef Scott Pampuch is serving food out of a renovated 1968 Airstream Sovereign trailer parked in front of Fulton where the food trucks typically are. Bet the Best Cheese-Wurst and a War & Peace Tipsy pie plus beer-in-hand make for a great dinner.

Wirth Cooperative Grocery opened in North Minneapolis after a long 10 years in the making. The co-op sits in an area of the city with the lowest average area median income and saw significant financial roadblocks along the way, but the neighborhood now stands to benefit both culturally and economically from the effort.


Mural in downtown St. Paul painted by Vanghoua Anthony Vue // Photo via Vanghoua Anthony Vue's Facebook

Mural in downtown St. Paul painted by Vanghoua Anthony Vue // Photo via Vanghoua Anthony Vue’s Facebook

The Minnesota Museum of American Art (MMAA) commissioned three new murals honoring Hmong culture as part of the St. Paul Murals Project. The works, funded by grants, are the culmination of a month-long workshop with visiting artist Vanghoua Anthony Vue who engaged families, elders, and artists of the Hmong community. Two separate events will celebrate the murals at the end of the month. Learn more about the project, the artists, and the events from MMAA.

During the Super Bowl, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) will deploy Crew 52, a network of 10,000 volunteers, to “welcome the world to the Bold North.” MNSBHC recently announced a partnership with Love Your Melon that will put custom beanies on the heads of all Crew 52 volunteers, as well as on 5,000 children in Minnesota battling cancer. The hats are knitted by Minnesota Knitting Mills and the patches supplied by 3M. Crew 52 is still in need of volunteers; the deadline to apply is September 27.

Scientists, researchers, authors, dreamers, and dark-sky enthusiasts are gathering in Duluth to celebrate the stars during Night Sky Week. The Starry Skies Lake Superior chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association is holding events in Duluth from September 17–23, including a Night Sky Seminar, star parties, and a reading by Twin Cities author Paul Bogard from his book, “The End of Night.” Partially by design, but largely due to natural remoteness, areas around Lake Superior are valued for the lack of light pollution and the high probability of success for Northern Light chasers.

Also of note, Duluth was recently named “least-stressed city” in the U.S. based on factors like length of workweek, commute time, hours of sleep, physical activity, and divorce rate. Can’t help but think that the proximity to one of the most beautiful lakes, forests, night skies, etc., has something to do with it.

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]