Truly there are more certainties in life than just death and taxes, no? The trees certainly will bud, you will over-grill the first steak of the season, and there will be lines for park-side eateries. Also certain: new food trucks will pop up, there will be more shuffles in restaurant ownership, and breweries will continue to open until we are paddleboarding on beer.
>> Do we have MN's first lakeside boat up taproom? Wayzata BrewWorks opens officially tonight on Wayzata Bay in the old Boatworks building, and there are docks out front. I can't wait to see the paddleboarders heading back across the lake after a few pints of Bay IPA. Robert Klick, brother of Excelsior Brewing's founder John Klick, has been working on this baby for a few years, and eventually he'll craft spirits in the space as well. It's a pretty tricked out taproom with Chris Craft touches all over, so very #WHYzata.
>> In North Loop, the next generation of breweries is being kicked off by the clutch of brewers at Modist Brewing, just across from Darby's. The space is pretty big and pretty pretty with aqua accents. Oh and the beer, there's some interesting things happening with a hammer mill and moderated fermentation which has lead to a sassy brew called Toats made with 60% oats. I want to know how fast they get sick of hearing Toats McGoats when someone orders one. Nah, they're pretty chill.
>> Over at the MGM, there's a new tenant in the former Sonora Grill stall. Moroccan Flavors has opened up a little counter spot and is putting up kofte sandwiches, couscous and tagine dishes, plus Mediterranean salads and even traditional mint tea. More of this please.
>> Ox Cart Ale House finally opened their rooftop deck yesterday, but only drinks so far, still not food. Just soyaknow.
>> The 70 year old Market BBQ launches their food truck officially this weekend at Fulton Brewery, though the big pink pig truck has been out in downtown all week selling those lip smacking ribs, chicken and brisket to hungry lunchers. Pit smoking is an art that may be lost if city permitting keeps going as it is, so enjoy it while you can!
>> Not surprised, but the endeavor known as Dinner Lab is kaput. An email announcing the end went out to members of the private dining club which came to town with a flourish, promising cool dining events in off-beat locations by young up-and-coming chefs. It never really worked that well here, from the perspective of a few members I know who said it always kinda felt half-assed and not as put-together as many other dining events held in town. The national group admits that they could never seem to make it profitable, and so has decided "effective immediately, Dinner Lab will be suspending operations and halting events."
>> Well it seems that Cafe Barbette is getting a sassy little sister next door: Trapeze will be the name of the bubbles and toasts annex that Kim Bartmann and team plan to debut this summer. Chef Kevin Kathman, who's been bumming around local kitchens such as Il Foro for a few months, returns to the Bartmann fold to help with the menu though he's not the chef in residence we're told. The little pop-up preview next week is already sold out, so you'll have to wait to get your peek at the hot pink ceiling.
>> Minneapolis skyway zombies (guilty!) should get VERY happy, as Blackeye Roasting Co. is opening a coffee cafe with a taproom feel. Ten tap lines will flow non-alcoholic beverages such as nitro cold brew, nitro iced tea, Prohibition kombucha, and unboozy cocktails inspired by Bittercube to keep it all chill for the 9-to-5ers. You'll also be able to get all the hot stuff at this 18 seat spot in the skyway over the intersection of 2nd Ave. and 4th St.
>> Here's a lot of stuff: 1. Landlords and leases be crazy. 2. Hubert's by the Vikings stadium will become a new MN-BBQ spot called Erik the Red. 3. That Erik is Erik Forsberg of Devil's Advocate and also he's buying Dan Kelly's Pub from Matty O'Reilly and Rick Guntzel. 4. Um.
>> Mucci's Italian, the smallish and NOT HAUNTED Italian spot that has peeps waiting in line for hours to bite some of chef Chris Uhrich's meatballs, has a plan. They've begun selling some of their eats as frozen foods that you can grab and take home instead of waiting in line with your baby way past her bedtime so that you freak out and leave and never eat there but still manage to leave a loser one star review on Yelp for a place you haven't eaten in. Hypothetically. Anyhoo pizza, lasagna, sauce, and meatballs for you!
>> I am super proud to let you in on a little thing: our own Eliesa Johnson, who has photographed many a MSPmag food/drink feature, will be the official photographer for the James Beard Awards this year. Go get 'em girl, stand on those tables!
>> Guess what?! This Saturday is OPENING DAY for the Minneapolis Farmers Market!
>> Also on Saturday, you should think about popping down to Canterbury for Savor Minnesota. This annual event brings a lot of craft producers down to the south metro for an afternoon of noshing from local food makers and brewers, but really it's a chance to sample some local wines all together in one space. Noon to 5pm, $45 at the door.
>> Beer can be more than suds and good times, our local Finnegan's has proven that by using beer to feed people and do good in town. If you want to learn more about their amazing tale of good beer, high adventure, and worthy work, head over to Keiran's Irish Pub next Wed. the 20th and you'll even get the inside scoop on the plans for the brewhotel. It's being hosted by the PRSA, but everyone with at least $25 in your pocket is welcome.
>> Don't forget to score your tickets for the Art of Vodka event at the Russian Museum next Thu. the 21st, we're going to zakuski all night long!
>> Last year's Gamay Day was held at La Belle Vie and it was spectacular. Let's embrace change as hosts Erik Eastman, Craig Coulter, Jon Olson, and Adam Gorski move it to Upton 43 this year. Get your tickets for the May 1st event during which you can sample some 20+ bottles of gamay wines, choose to partake in a five course meal with gamay pairings, or even go all in for the limited seating chef's table which will score you 10 courses perfectly paired with gamay wines. You don't need to be a wino to attend, but it might help.