The Mill: After 19 years, Triple Rock Social Club to close in November

Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside neighborhood will close November 22 // Photo via Triple Rock Social Club's website

Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood will close November 22 // Photo via Triple Rock Social Club’s website

On Monday, Triple Rock Social Club announced they plan to close after November 22. The bar and restaurant has had a 19-year run, 15 of which have included a high-energy music venue in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

Owners Erik and Gretchen Funk opened the club in 1998 when they were in their mid-20s, had barely any cash, and were some of the youngest people in the city to hold a liquor license. Erik had a background in music as a member of Dillinger Four, and Gretchen had learned the ropes of the food industry by working in restaurants for years. They relied on friends, family, good counsel, and hard work, and eventually moved into more of a standard business model, hiring management and taking on expansions. In 2002 they opened the music venue side of the building featuring Lifter Puller as their first show.

Artists, musicians, and patrons have since expressed sadness at the news of Triple Rock’s closing. The club has woven itself into music, literally. Doomtree’s “Bangarang,” Limbeck’s “Home Is Where the Van Is,” Motion City Soundtrack’s “Better Open the Door,” and P.O.S’s “Optimist” all mention the club in the lyrics. In 2006, Triple Rock was the location for a NOFX music video, “Seeing Double at the Triple Rock.” The all-ages music venue has welcomed old and new artists across the genres without regard to popularity, making an impact on the Twin Cities music scene.

While the Funks did not give a reason for closing, they expressed gratitude to all who passed through their doors.

October 11—October 17


Beer on the bar at Giesenbräu Bier Co. in New Prague // Photo by Katelyn Regenscheid

Beer on the bar at Giesenbräu Bier Co. in New Prague // Photo by Katelyn Regenscheid

Giesenbräu Bier Co. opens October 21 in New Prague, Minnesota. On tap at the German-inspired brewery and biergarten will be seven beers: a lager, hefeweizen, milk stout, three IPAs, and an imperial porter.

Klockow Brewing in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is hosting its Grand Opening party on October 28.

More new brewery updates:

  • Ward House Brewing, a new brewery in Waseca, Minnesota, received its state license. Stay tuned for more details in our Now Open (Or Damn Close) column.
  • Stacked Deck Brewing has equipment ordered for their new brewery in the former Macy’s in downtown St. Paul.
  • Rustech Brewing is coming to Monticello, Minnesota, in early 2018.

In the UK, Walled City Brewery made a beer from a 300-year old recipe. Called “1689,” the mumm ale—a Medieval strong ale—is the offspring of a recipe found in the home of Governor George Walker during the Siege of Derry in the 1600s. The original recipe included some ingredients either now extinct or declared toxic. Today’s version is a little more… drinkable.

Lost Spirits Abomination, a peated malt “aged” in just six days utilizing Lost Spirits’ revolutionary patented technology, received Liquid Gold status in Jim Murray’s “The Whisky Bible,” which contains over 4,600 ratings of the world’s top whiskies. Liquid Gold is only awarded to those scoring at least 94 points—representing the top five percent of all whiskies cataloged in the “bible.”

In September, WineAmerica released study findings that stated the wine industry contributes $220 billion a year to the U.S. economy, including 1.7 million jobs. States with the largest impact include California, New York, Washington, Oregon, and Virginia.

Wine industry leaders have formed a support network to provide immediate assistance and long-term aid to victims of the fires ravaging Northern California and are calling on the national wine community for additional help. A group of association leaders representing the Golden State’s major winegrowing regions are working to organize resources and direct them to those in need.

Parts of California continue to experience devastation due to wildfires, but the LA Times reports that vineyards help to quell the flames. Unlike dry landscape, vineyards are moist and lush and are not easily given over to fire. Leaders in Napa Valley and Sonoma say it won’t be until spring, however, that they will know for sure how much damage their vines have faced.

University of Minnesota Vineyard Manager John Thull chimed in about the wildfires, saying that even though most grapes out west have been harvested, those left on the vine are subject to the smoky air. This could put an interesting twist on the taste of wines made from 2017 grapes.

Are you thinking about November turkey yet? There’s something on the market to add to your Thanksgiving cocktail game. Portobello Road is releasing a turkey breast gin distilled with actual turkey breast.

Hans “Hanzee” Lofgren, beloved beer rep for Capitol Beverage and Original Gravity, and a friend to many in the craft beer community in and around Minnesota, unexpectedly died on October 6. Lift Bridge Brewery has set up crowdfund to support Lofgren’s family. Additionally, a Hundos for Hans event will be held at the Seventh Street Truck Park in St. Paul on November 4. The public is invited to drop a $100 bill in Hans’ Fishbowl; all proceeds will go to Lofgren’s wife Monica and his two children.


Five Watt Coffee's new location on Hennepin Avenue is now open // Photo courtesy of Five Watt Coffee

Five Watt Coffee’s new location on Hennepin Avenue is now open // Photo courtesy of Five Watt Coffee

Five Watt Coffee opened a new location last week at 861 East Hennepin Avenue. Offerings include coffee, beer, wine, and food.

Opening today, October 17, Wayzata has a new diner specializing in comfort foods and “over-the-top” breakfast dishes: Benedict’s Morning Heroes.

ICYMI, Stillwater’s The Green Room closed its doors in September. Opened in 2011 by chef and owner Christopher Durant, The Green Room was known for world cuisine using locally grown ingredients.

Joe Minjares’ restaurant of 46 years, Pepitos, may close following unforeseen hardships. Minjares was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2011 and his family has continued to run the restaurant despite his illness. Minjares has been a major part of his community in South Minneapolis, known for his generosity in business, and big personality as a comedian and entertainer. A GoFundMe account has been set up for Minjares and family as he awaits a lung transplant.

The Philando Feeds The Children Fund, a memorial fund set up to honor the late Philando Castile, has raised enough money to clear a year’s worth of student lunch debt across the St. Paul Public Schools district. Inspired by stories of Castile helping pay for student’s lunches with his own money, the fund raised $72,000 and is believed to be enough to pay the $400 per student lunch costs for this school year.

Sean Sherman, better known as The Sioux Chef, and Beth Dooley are going to be on hand at Aster Café in Minneapolis Wednesday night for the launch of Sherman’s new cookbook: “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen.

If you find yourself in Milwaukee on Halloween and you’re a “Seinfeld” fan, visit The Vanguard, A Restaurant About Nothing. The place will transform for the evening, serve Seinfeld-themed foods, be littered with Seinfeld jokes, and whoever wins best costume will be treated to a free future dinner.

Potted wing drosophila, an invasive fruit fly, is disturbing berry and grape crops in Minnesota. An estimated 20–25 percent of berry growers have been affected and/or ceased production since the insect first appeared in 2012. Researchers are working both to understand the economic impacts as well as how to better control the species’ effect on crops.


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Images courtesy of Minnesota Marine Art Museum

Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, Minnesota, added three new works to its permanent collection this weekend: “Commerce of Nations Rendering Homage to Liberty” (1875) by Edward Moran; “Source of the Lison” (1864) by Gustave Courbet; and “Boats (Gloucester)” (c. 1917) by Jane Peterson.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has motioned to create hunting seasons for trumpeter swans, whose population used to dwindle. The idea has some on edge. It is unlikely that Minnesota or Wisconsin will open hunting for trumpeters, regardless of what the federal agency decides.

In a response to the outbreak of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Minnesota’s wild, white-tailed deer, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is funding an emergency research project to collar 115 deer next spring. The DNR seeks landowner participation and the tracking will occur over a two-year period.

Both St. Paul and Minneapolis city councils are deliberating over ordinances regarding home-sharing, regulations that could affect residents, homeowners, and companies like Airbnb and VRBO who have hosts in the Twin Cities.

Minnesota RollerGirls will cruise into their 14th season on October 21 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul. This year, the team’s season-long charity is the Ann Bancroft Foundation’s Let Me Play Grant, which funds athletic and dance equipment or participation fees for girls ages five through high school graduation.

If you pass through the skyways in St. Paul, you may have seen the large format photographs part of Speaking of Home, a project led by Nancy Ann Coyne. The project explores what “home” means to the many immigrants who live in the Twin Cities. The photographs will be in place until March 8, 2018.

The Zombie Pub Crawl took place in Minneapolis last Saturday. The event set the Guinness World Record for “World’s Largest Gathering of Zombies” in 2014.

This year, see The Haunted Basement in the building where Cheerios was created. The creepy installation project used to be housed in The Soap Factory, but has moved to 2010 East Hennepin Avenue, an old, undesired building that used to be owned by General Mills. Tickets are available through the 31st.

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]