Earth Day! Record Store Day! Prince Weekend! St. George's Day! There is so much potential partying this weekend that you'll really have to plan how to work your purple donut consumption in between your plant-based eating. Plus, the week ahead holds cutting edge pop-ups, dinners for great causes, and, if you're lucky, PROM!
>> Just in time for Earth Day, J. Selby's opened up in St. Paul this week. But wait, maybe they're anti-Earth because of their all plant-based menu. They're eating plants, Soylent Green is made of plants!! Just kidding, this is the new vegan restaurant that everyone is excited about. I'm loving the use of alt-spellings for things such as beaf cheezeburgers so that we're all on the same page.
>> St. Paul Bagelry has successfully crossed the river and opened in Tangletown. On the ground floor of a new complex off Nicollet at Diamond Lake, the little shop is modern and sleek offering fresh bagels and house made cream cheese. I am not mad at their Luther Van Dross breakfast bagel with all the meats.
>> Tilt Pinball Bar is now open for flipper flapping, hip checking, high-scoring fun near the MCAD campus. The McCabe-Johnston team from Nightingale are part owners, and here they're telling a hot dog story with pups like an O.G.B. topped with melty gruyere, bacon, and onions or the Don Pickles with pastrami spice, cream cheese, and dills (Imma just go ahead and add some crushed potato chips on there and call dibs). And there's craft beer and cocktails while you make your way through those 20+ machines.
>> In town, Headflyer Brewing is opening grandly this weekend in the Miller Textile building on E. Hennepin (also the spot where a Five Watt Coffee is landing). On Saturday you can hear tons of live music, bounce in the bouncy house, and drink some loaded IPAs and a None the Wiser Golden Ale on the slatted deck.
>> Out of town, down Northfield way, Tanzenwald Brewing Co. has started its grand opening weekend ballyhoo. From a former Lagunitas brewer who came home to brew, this brew haus has a German focus while offering hop-forward IPAs, easy-drinking pale ales and pilsners, plus some unique barrel-aged and sour beers. AND, there's sausages with kraut und house made pretzels.
>> Malcolm Yards Market is the name of the food hall coming to Prospect Park next year. Opening across the street from Surly Brewing, it'll hold some 17 food counters, plus one large anchor restaurant and a central bar.
>> Christina and Birk of Hola Arepa have revealed their plans for the NE Deuce Deuce strip club they recently bought. After MUCH SCRUBBING, they'll be turning it into a little SE Asian street food joint called Hai Hai (meaning two two in Vietnamese, a swish to the building's past life). This is exciting! Christina's Vietnamese heritage has shown up here and there on special dishes at Hola, and she and Birk have been traveling to and eating their way through SE Asia to find new fun ideas. You never knew you needed arepas, but you did. This is next.
>> St. Paul is finally getting something on the ground level of the Lowry Building: Gray Duck Tavern. The Madison Group's newest restaurant will be run by chef Donald Gonzales, lastly of Forepaugh's, and Aaron Johnson, who had a hot minute at Herbie's on the Park after a long career that included Tria and Strip Club. They'll apparently be cooking "comfort food from around the world" in a casual and accessible fun space. The design is being done by the same people who did sister restaurant Handsome Hog, which is downright lovely. Can't wait! Should be open by late May for lunch and dinner daily, with an outdoor patio and potential rooftop space in the future.
>> Not cooling off even a degree, the North Loop will soon be home to NOLO's Kitchen & Bar, which hopes to bring casual comfort food (breakfast tostada, wood oven flatbreads, shaved pork sandwich) to the former Gardner Hardware store at 515 Washington. The main level will be open for B/L/D daily in the 125 seat space with cozy booths and high-top drink rails, while the lower level will become The Basement Bar. Broasted chicken, poutine, melts, and pizza are the name of the game below, along with counter service, lots of screens, bubble hockey, and live music. Look for these shenanigans to commence in September.
>> Some of you care a whole awful lot that the "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro is opening up a Carlo's Bakery at the MOA. Though, I did just find out that they sell slices of cake as grab 'n' go, so maybe I could care a bit. Find them next to Shake Shack sometime this summer.
>> Back Channel Brewing is coming to Spring Park this summer. They're rehabbing an old dentist office which sits on a big mall parking lot near the Lake Minnetonka channel that gets you from Cooks Bay to West Arm. There's potential for dock access, but doubtful you'll be sitting on a lakeside deck like you do at Wayzata Brew Works. What I am most excited about, is that it's right across the street from the Minnetonka Drive-In and the Dakota Trail which means biking to pick up fried chicken and fresh beer can soon happen.
>> Our Young Joni was called out by GQ Magazine as one of their top 10 Best New Restaurants in America. Well, duh. Did you ever watch that ultra smooth video we shot of the back bar? Wanna go right now?
>> Glam Doll Donuts has purple donuts all weekend in honor of the Beautiful One.
>> Spring is here, let's run for beer! Best slogan ever. Have you signed up for a gallop with the MN Brewery Running Series? This Saturday there are still spots left for the Lakes & Legends run. Remember, it's cool to detox to retox.
>> We've got two birthdays in the room! First, our sweet little Heyday turns three years old on Sunday, with a pig roast bash, yard games, test tube cocktails, and more! ... And second, our double digit Merlin's Rest is turning 10! The pub is just fine sharing the day with St. George's Day, which means music, dancers, town criers, and specials on whisky.
>> BLAINE. What. About. Prom? If you stitched your little heart out and made a dress from rags, or if you just popped into Goodwill and bedazzled someone's old wedding dress, you can have your moment in the spotlight. Bau Haus Brewlabs is throwing an Enchantment Under the Sea Prom this Sunday in support of Operation Glass Slipper. Go make googly eyes at DJ Jake Rudh, suck face or suck down pizza and beer, but buy those $10 tickets in advance so they know how much punch to not spike.
>> Don't forget to support the Dandelion Honey Pastry Chef Challenge on Wednesday, April 26 in the Chowgirls space. Remember, without bees there would be no spring, so plunk down $35 in the name of pollinator advocacy, and dig into some professionally made sweet treats.
>> Dine Out for Life is taking place on Thursday, April 27 and you should do your part by having dinner. Choose from a ton of local restaurants around town who are donating a percentage of their profits to the Aliveness Project. I'll be at Joan's on the Park if you want to come and hang out.
>> Groundswell, that cute coffee cafe near Hamlin, is hosting its very first pop-up on Friday, May 5. The owners are welcoming Moroccan chef Alami Aloui in for a casual, three-course family style dinner in the traditional Moroccan ways. Check out the menu which includes seafood bastilla, beef tagine, and semolina cake. Tickets are $45 and will go fast.
>> Guess what chums, it's time to drink pink. It's Solo Vino Rosé Tent Party time! Get this sipper on your calendar for Sunday, May 21 so you don't miss getting Kanskied by Chuck. He's moved the party to the St. Paul College parking lot to make it bigger and more fun. There will be on-site parking and TWO tents full of over 135 rosés for the sampling. Erik Sather will be back doing sausages, and Redhead Creamery will be there with cheese. Tickets are $50 for VIP that begins at 1 p.m. and $40 for general that begins at 2 p.m.
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