Photo by Eliesa Johnson
>> I almost feel like I shouldn't tell you about this, but there's a new speakeasy open in Uptown. Rumors have been floating for over a year that Volstead's Emporium would open soon, and some even wondered if it secretly had. But last night was the first official night of the small basement bar, whose only entrance is an unmarked back parking lot door at 711 W. Lake Street in Lyn-Lake. There are multiple rooms in the dark and small space, velvet curtained booths, a secret table behind a wall, and a small bar all swanky with the prohibition vibes. Classic cocktails in beautiful glasses include a Brandy Crusta (throwback Sidecar), a Sherry Cobbler, even a Knickerbocker a la Monsieur. Nosh includes small bites like meat and cheese plates, deviled eggs, and canapes, plus bigger dishes like steak frites, baked orrecchiette, and pan seared bass. They open at 5pm, don't look for a website, don't look for a Facebook, just go and look for a door.
>> The new eatery in the Food Building, Draft Horse, will be open on Saturday (yes, the original name had been Workhorse but then there was already WorkHorse Coffee in St. Paul. Bygones.) There will be deli grab-n-go stocked with the goods from the building, but also a full-service menu that includes pot pies, whiskey onion soup, brick chicken, plus a fried bologna with cheese hello.
>> Though they'll probably be slammed with the craft fair goers (see below), you should know that Taco Cat is now open in their own shiny new stall at the Midtown Global Market.
>> Today launches Lake Monster Brewing & Taproom into the world. The spot on Vandalia in St. Paul is looking slick and the beers are frosty!
>> Tiger Sushi is now open in Ridgedale to support your nigiri break post-Nordstrom run.
>> In the end, it was an offer they couldn't refuse. Origami is selling the building that houses their original spot in downtown Minneapolis, and closing on Dec. 23. The Uptown location will remain open.
>> Also closing, on a faster track, in fact not even making it through all the Holidazzle hubbub, is Loring Kitchen & Bar. Dec 14 is the end date.
>> And Franklin Street Bakery will cease the retail arm of their baking business because they are doing so well at commercial baking they can barely catch 40 winks. Well done you, but sad for the loss of ginger cookies.
>> Good news everyone, Steven Brown's St. Genevieve will be open to the public starting Dec 15. The French buvette which has revamped the former Lynn on Bryant space might be showing up in your feeds this week as they execute training events with a few lucky eaters, but be patient mon cherie. Your time will come.
>> Tune up you pipes bishes, the former Verdant Tea spot in Seward is about to become Encore Karaoke & Sushi Lounge. What does that mean? Only 11 private soundproofed rooms where you can pop maki rolls and belt out I Will Survive with your groupies. Weekend hours til 2am, Swifties.
>> Big news from Big Cheese this week, Vincent Francoual has let us in on the big secret. Once he closes his restaurant, he'll join Cara Irish Pubs as Culinary Director. That means that the real Vincent burger could be found at The Local and The Liffey sooner than you think.
>> Thinking about what to slip into those locally curated gift baskets you're planning to give this Christmas? Head down to Feast! Local Foods Marketplace this weekend for a giant food show with hundreds of locally made products just waiting to stuff your stocking.
>> It's the Grand Meander this weekend, which just means soup and shopping if you play your cards right.
>> Ice cream is still your friend, especially when it's given a bump. Get over to 11 Wells Distillery for Sweet Science's FREE December tasting, which includes 15+ flavors and the seasonal White Russian and Old Fashioned flavors.
>> Couple of crafty shopping situations you should know about, because why shop unless there's some sips n' nosh in it for you. First of all, the Holiday No Coast Craft-O-Rama is one of my faves, out at Midtown Global Market on Friday and Saturday. Buy a gift, get a taco ... score a stocking stuffer, stuff your face with a Rabbit Hole burger. Also on Saturday, it's the Crafts and Cocktails market, this year at Tattersall Distillery, proving the merry and bright rule of holiday shopping can be gifts or noses.