The Mill: Pepitos taken over by El Burrito Mercado, to be called El Burrito Minneapolis

Photo via El Burrito Mercado Facebook

Photo via El Burrito Mercado Facebook

The restaurant formerly known as Pepitos has been taken over by the family behind St. Paul’s El Burrito Mercado, and will reopen as El Burrito Minneapolis. Investor/entrepreneur Ward Johnson, who purchased the building with partner business Eddie Landenberger, said in a press release that Pepitos held a special place in his heart.

“My wife and I had our first date at Pepitos, and fittingly in 2001 it’s where I proposed,” Johnson stated. His wish to continue the legacy of family-driven Mexican cuisine will be granted, as the family behind St. Paul’s West Side institution turns their sites to south Minneapolis.

“It’s bittersweet to say goodbye,” said Pepitos owner Joe Minjares in a statement. “But I feel like I’m leaving things in good hands, and there’s a bit of serendipity to be handing over the reins of the restaurant to another family-owned Mexican restaurant with a long history in the Twin Cities.”

The building’s adjoining Parkway Theater will also be revamped and be open once again this June. “Our goal is to restore the Parkway Theater to its former glory and bring new energy to the space through renovation, curated movie and speaker series, contemporary chamber music, and more,” Landenberger added in the duo’s statement.

If all goes according to plan, El Burrito Minneapolis will open its doors in mid-May, and the renovated Parkway Theater will reopen in June.


Pipeworks Brewing Company's Panther Like A Panther - a collaboration with Run The Jewels // Photo via Pipeworks Brewing Company Twitter

Pipeworks Brewing Company’s Panther Like A Panther—a collaboration with Run The Jewels // Photo via Pipeworks Brewing Company Twitter

Hip-hop duo Run the Jewels is coming out with their second craft beer collaboration, Panther Like a Panther Stout. Members El-P and Killer Mike are collaborating with three craft breweries including New York’s Interboro, Pipeworks of Chicago, and J. Wakefield in Miami. Their first collab, the 2017 Stay Gold IPA, was made as a single recipe for each brewer involved, but this release will feature a different recipe at each of the three breweries.

Among the 10 breweries from across the country nominated for USA Today’s Best New Brewery is St. Paul’s very own Barrel Theory Beer Company. It’s the only Minnesota brewery to be nominated, along with places spanning from North Carolina to Michigan to California. Voting ends on Monday, March 19, and the winners will be announced Friday, March 23.

After receiving a scathing review from a City Pages reader who called them “the Coldplay of Minnesota craft breweries,” Summit Brewing slapped back with a literal Coldplay beer. Death and All His Friends, named after the last track on the band’s 2008 “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends,” is a barrel-aged stout clocking in at 9.9% ABV, to be released this Thursday.

World-renowned Indiana-based Three Floyds Brewing is planning an expansion that would more than double its current size. The project would add a massive outdoor dining space, enlarge the indoor restaurant and retail space, and add a huge expansion to the brewery’s warehouse.


One of the cat patrons of Cafe Meow // Photo via Cafe Meow Facebook

One of the cat patrons of Cafe Meow // Photo via Cafe Meow Facebook

The Cities just got, not one, but two new vegan restaurants this month, one in White Bear Lake and the other in the skyways of downtown Minneapolis. Vegan East opened in WBL to wide acclaim, offering a variety of baked goods like vegan cookies, cupcakes, and “cheescakes.” So Good So You touts a plant-based menu that is predominantly vegan. Offerings vary from wraps and sandwiches to cold-pressed juices and wellness shots, all the way to organic baby food.

Northeast vegan hotspot Herbivorous Butcher is hitting the road this summer with their very own food truck. The vegan butchery expects the truck to be up and running in Minneapolis by June, with licensing for St. Paul still in the works. Though the menu has yet to be announced, one item is for certain: chicken-free fried chicken. Interpret that as you will, but color me intrigued.

With Friday’s opening of The Cafe Meow, Minnesota officially has its first cat cafe. For those who have no idea what that means, the concept was first started in Taiwan, but quickly took hold in Japan. It’s exactly what it sounds like: one side is a cafe, the other side is a pseudo-sanctuary for cats from three different local rescues. Visitors pay $10 per hour to play with the cats, and also have the opportunity to adopt if they find one they simply can’t part with.

The duo behind Stillwater’s LoLo American Kitchen + Bar are opening another eatery in downtown Stillwater, to be named Pearl & the Thief. The two-story restaurant, expected to open in April, will focus on classic Southern, Cajun and Creole flavors, as well as horse-racing parties, classic cocktails, and late-night fare.

Downtown St. Paul is losing one of its last small grocers this month. Rivertown Market, located on North Wabasha Street, will close on the final day of the month. The owners, a married couple who bought the store in 2013, said they didn’t know at the time that a massive Lunds & Byerly’s would be going in down the street. Now, aside from L&B, the closest market is El Burrito Mercado on the West Side. St. Paul City Council member Rebecca Noecker told the Pioneer Press, “It’s a shame. … It’s really a desert.”


Fyr Minnesåta Shanty, on January 13th, 2018 during Build Day // Photo by Domini Brown

Fyr Minnesåta Shanty, on January 13th, 2018 during Build Day // Photo by Domini Brown

Art Shanty Projects will receive a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts this year under Art Works, which is the organization’s largest funding category. Art Works focuses on creations that meet the highest standards of artistic excellence, public engagement, promotion of lifelong learning through the medium of diverse art, and strengthening of communities through the arts. This year’s celebration on Lake Harriet saw 40,000 visitors, a milestone year for the festival. “With our recent move to Minneapolis, we’ve been able to share the on-ice program with broader and larger audiences,” says artistic director Lacey Prpić Hedtke. “We are so grateful for this grant which will allow us to continue to develop and grow our programming over the coming year.”

When asked by the city of St. Paul to submit a “Small Area Plan,” the Frogtown Neighborhood Association went above and beyond with a 125-page comic book illustrating its vision and needs for the coming years. The artist behind the project, Mychal Batson, aka Dazzle, spent more than a year writing and illustrating the plan in coordination with the FND and neighborhood residents.

The already-chaotic sport of skijoring (think cross country skiing and dog sledding, combined) got an equine twist at Canterbury Park this weekend. Spectators got to bear witness as skiers were towed at top speed by horses and their riders around the racecourse. The event, appropriately called “Extreme Horse Skijoring,” saw skiers flying over jumps at speeds up to 30 mph.

Hennepin County will be revising its recycling policies this year. Specifically the county aims to reduce waste by adding provisions requiring cities to provide curbside organics recycling by 2022, and require businesses that generate large quantities of food waste to implement food recycling. Both Minneapolis and St. Louis Park currently have voluntary curbside-collection programs, with a 44 percent participation rate among Minneapolis residents.

The Minnesota Opera has announced its 2018-19 season, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night, The Fix—an opera based on the notorious Black Sox scandal of 1919—and the return of Nicole Cabell in La Traviata.

A photo of an anxious beer drinker in Pyeongchang has gone viral. The husband of Canadian curler Rachel Homan was photographed double-fisting beers at 9am as he watched his wife’s team fight for a spot on the podium. His tweeted response to the photo ended with, “I’m not a drunk, I’m just Canadian.”

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]