Photo by Eliesa Johnson
Vikre distillery up in Duluth has opened the state's first distillery tasting room. They can't sell anyone else's liquor so don't expect crazy mixed cocktails, but the owners have been making tonics, bitters, and syrups like mad so you can enjoy a great drink.
Lands End Pasty Co. has opened in Dinkytown, just in time to warm cold hands. Chicken, beef, pork, or veggie pasties run $6 a piece and there are baked fries as well. You gotta look to find them, they're behind Shuang Cheng.
Hans' Bakery is open and pushing donuts in Navarre! The tiny, tiny shop has a few tables up front and a smaller kitchen than the original spot, but the donuts are fresh, the beehives are beautiful, and the carrot cake is right on!
The wee bit scuzzy dive bar Dan Kelly's that lives around the block from my office, and therefore is the place we go to talk about our bosses, has been bought. Thank the maker that Matty O'Reilly of Republic is taking over the joint with plans to spiff it up a bit and give it a real Irish food menu. I saw a sneak peek of it and I'm getting ready for some stout and cheddar fondue, bangers and mash, and grilled cheese toasties with Red Table ham. The name will be Dan Kelly's Pub and the inside will hopefully get a steam clean, but that's about it.
People's Organic may be the hottest company in town. They have signed another lease and plan to open a quick cafe at Calhoun Square, in the little space near the corner of Lake & Hennepin (NOT the old Figlio/Primebar space).
Sparks, the small Bryn Mawr wood-fired eatery from Jon Hunt, has annexed the neighboring shop and expanded seating. Go get a roasted chicken pita sandwich. Yum.
Schell's has been working on purchasing the glorious old Grain Belt sign that watches over downtown Minneapolis. They have plans to relight the sign, which has been dark for some 20 years. This makes me ridiculously happy for some reason. Let's make this happen, people!
Next Tuesday, Easy & Oskey will be debuting its new grapefruit-flavored bitters at a little shindig at Hola Arepa. From 5-8 p.m., Oskey will be featuring two special cocktails made with the bitters, and you'll be able to buy the kits right on site. (hello, hostess gift)
Tonight you can help Pizzeria Lola celebrate its anniversary with a Dream Pie. The Cubano pizza was created by Nicholas Kolnik and chosen as the ultimate Dream Pie, and you get to eat it: braised Duroc pork, mozzarella, provolone, pickles, special mustard sauce, and Red Table ham. Also, bring a canned good to donate to Second Harvest Heartland and you get FREE tickets for the photo booth.
On Sunday you can drop in to Broders' Pasta Bar and support Slow Food MN. Pop over from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and drop $25 to sip Italian wines, sample snacks, and get in a little tasting of fresh truffles direct from Umbria.
Also on Sunday, Kingfield/Fulton farmers' markets will be open in their winter home of Bachman's for the first Holiday Market from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.