The only way through, was through, and here we stand. Restrictions for restaurants and bars have been fully lifted, and our going out lives are blooming like peonies. Many things have changed, but if you belly up to a bar and order an ice cold martini, odds are that you will recognize that feeling, and the world again. Dip back in with a visit to a new bar, cheers your beer with a better burger, wander a farmers market at your leisure, and just say hello to those old friends at your local.
>> Hey there’s some real talk that there could be some movement on the Drink Local Bill during a special session at the Capitol. There’s a rally planned for Monday morning at Leif Erickson park to show support for the movement, which could be a big push toward modernizing our state liquor laws. Click in to see the details.
>> Do you loooooove summer? Like even in this gd heat wave you can’t get enough of it? We have a place for you. Join up with our little Summer in the Twin Cities Facebook group where we’ll be sharing burgers on Fridays, picking out small town day trip destinations, offering tips and tricks on all things hikes to bikes from the editors, just so you can have your 2021 summer of all summers. Which, you deserve.
+ There’s a new old cocktail bar now open in St. Paul. The White Squirrel bar has taken up nesting in the old Fort Road Federation building, just over a block or so from the Schmidt Brewery complex on West 7th. You can’t miss its namesake on the side of the building (and in the streets every so often). It’s the work of Dani and Jarret Oulman, who also owns the 331 Club and The Amsterdam with father Jon. This neighborhood joint is a little quieter, with under 60 seats in the place, but there is a reel-to-reel standing guard, and a small stage that will be put to musical use. There are about 8 cocktails on the menu, which is a pretty nice number. Bet they’d shake a martini for you, too.
+ Latte-art favorite Cafe Astoria has expanded in St. Paul. John Occhiato and Leah Raymundo have cracked into the next room to create Stella Belle kitchen and bakery. While Astoria is coffee-cafe focused, Stella Bella has Mediterranean notes and a fresh vibe offering breakfast all day. On the menu, there’s a Romesco and egg sandwich that has caught my eye, plus some cacio pepe soft scrambled eggs. But Shakshuka and patatas bravas, plus an Aegean turkey burger for us feta-freaks. Lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options here, it’s on my short list.
+ R & R Cultivation is now open at Keg & Case. The mushroom magicians have taken over the old fungi tower from the Forest to Fork crew, who have moved on. The new tenants promise a bevy of wild and interesting mushrooms, from Blue Oyster to Lion’s Mane and more.
+ Surly Brewing is back open on Saturday, but the throngs were packing the patio last night for a soft opening. The taproom will run about 20 lines of taps, and food will be coming from the food truck (had a lovely cheesesteak off that truck last summer), while they work through phase one of reopening. Hours will start off limited, W-F from 3-9pm and Sa-Su from 11am-9pm, and they’ll roll the full kitchen and upstairs pizza joint open as summer goes on.
+ The Dripping Root juice bar is officially open! Go get your glow on. After a successful grand opening run last weekend, the fresh juice bar will be serving juice and smoothie bowls on Minnehaha Ave on Th-Su from 9am-3pm.
+ Dong Hae Korean Grill and Sushi is now open in their new location. The once popular lunch and happy hour spot left their 1st Ave location a few months ago, and have finally opened in their new spot on Washington Ave, taking the old Wasabai Fusion spot.
+ Red Wagon Pizza is now open again for indoor dining! The South Minny spot had been doing takeout only for the last year+, launching a national brand in the meantime. But now the time has come to open. They are asking you to make a reservation, with a $5/person hold fee that gets credited to your bill when you show up and dine. And they’ll hold guests to a time limit (90-120 minutes, depending on size of party). They’d also like you to bring a mask and wear it while moving about the restaurant, so come ready.
+ Excelsior’s favorite bakery cafe by day and live music bar by night is back. The 318 Cafe is open again with a new wine list and a fresh patio. They’re also working on a new sound system, so the live music will be back and better than ever.
+ It’s true, Animales Burger Co is a new trailer that is parked at Bauhaus Brew Labs, from the same dudes that bring you great barbecue outside of Able Brewing. Now, within blocks of each other, you can get Jon Wipfli’d by a gorgeous double (or single, but why) patty burger literally drenched with pickles, and perhaps given a mantle of pork belly and jalapenos if you see fit. They’re open officially this afternoon at 4ish, and on weekends it’s an earlier start at noon.
+ Late last Friday we posted about Mr. Paul’s Supper Club coming to Edina. What I haven’t said, was that they are NOT going to put an Old Fashioned on the menu. Hold on. Instead, they are going to focus on the Sazerac and bringing that stately ol’ whiskey drink into your life in new and exciting ways. And if Kosevich and company knows anything about anything, it’s about drinking in new ways.
+ Joey Meatballs takes over the world! Or, the food hall world! It’s true, we’ve been waiting for Josh Hedquist to open his Italian flavored counter stall in the Malcolm Yards Project, but he’s just announced that he will also be opening a spot in the Keg & Case Market. Look for MYM to come first, then the St. Paul spot later this summer as a build-your-own pasta bowl with four pastas, five sauces, and fifteen toppings to get your carb on.
// Is it actually National Donut Day if you can’t be the third person to bring a whole box to and office and OH WELL we have to eat them for the entire day as coworkers pop by and chat up the weekend while you spin in your office chair that you can’t adjust down anymore but you never say anything because that feels like a pretty big whine, and hey donuts! Well, it still is: Go get a box from Cardigan or Valley Pastries or Puffy Cream or Glam Doll or North Star or The Donut Hole.
// And I don’t know what to tell you about SPAM Month(s) at Potluck in Rosedale, other than: Just zip it, and eat all the SPAM biscuits, the griddled SPAM burgers, the SPAM ice cream, the SPAM pizza (you can toss the pineapple), the SPAM waffle and the SPAM dogs. It’s so good.
// Sunday’s battle is set: Taco Throwdown is happening at East Lake brewery with Hot Indian, so get ready. They’ve set up an outdoor beer garden (read: taco patio) for the carnage, which is basically you and the sounds you make while inhaling roti tacos and beer. Give up $29 and get a flight of three tacos, two beers, and a special glass that has magical properties. Or not.
// The Naughty Greek misses you! So much so that they are throwing a little get-together this weekend at the University Ave shop. This Sunday, Angelo is pulling out all the Greek treats, from moussaka to eggplant kanoni to spanakopita and more. Plus he’ll be there carving charcoal-roasted lamb to order. Tickets are $50 and there are only a few left!
// The Linden Hills Farmers Market is back in action, in person this Sunday! While they have done a swell job of getting local food delivered right to you during this last year, there’s something about strolling that little market that just feels so good. AND, plan ahead for next Thursday and head downtown for the Nicollet Mall Mpls. Farmers Market, which did a bang-up job yesterday with stalls right down the middle of the street, live music, and all the fun.
// Maybe after whooping it up this weekend, you’ll have to bring it back down next weekend with a little tea service. Northeast Tea House is offering a Sensory Evening of rare tea and smokeless incense with sweet treats on Jun 11. This is a fully guided experience, with a sampling of three rare teas and a journey through some ancient Japanese rituals. Just $60 for two guests, seatings at 7 and 9pm.
// Pizza season has arrived at Two Pony Gardens, our local pizza (and dahlia) farm in the metro. They are going to start out a little differently, with the inaugural event on Jun 12-13, which will be a pizza pick up and farm walkabout situation. Pick your time slot online and order your pies now, when you get there for pizza night, check in at the oven and you’ll be quoted a time to come back and pick up your food. Meanwhile, wander the grounds, say hi to the ponies, check out the farm stand, and then grab your food and head out. It’s all good practice for ramping up to the full party.
// France 44 is back to offering classes in person and how, how do you not attend June 30th’s EXTREME WINES WITH A VENGEANCE: TOKYO DRIFT, PART THREE, III ? Not JUST because there’s promise of slamming shots of Marsala while a bald man in Zubas talks about rectified concentrated grape must, not JUST because I am mentioned and mislabeled in the description, but because its so far past overwhelming that it’s come back around to whelming again. Also: Intro to Sake and Cocktails + Dessert Pairings look fun too!
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