photo by Caitlin Abrams
So this is it—the technical last weekend of summer. After Monday, we all have to buckle down and start loving fall, which may mean embracing/shunning all things pumpkin-flavored (depending on your temperament). But worry not; we will always keep you busy, whether it be through pizza weeks, hop-picking excursions, or the beginning of fall festing—which really is just a less-sweaty version of what we've been up to this summer.
>> Maple Grove's Old Country Buffet has been replaced, as of yesterday, by a Golden Corral buffet. I can't wait for all the contrarian homage Tweets and hipster think pieces on this. Really. Can't wait.
>> Uptown has a new premier lounge and event space: Mansion at Uptown opened last week next to Williams Pub, in that cool historic 1911 library that's been everything from a club, to a Junior League, to a yoga spa, and now a club again. It has been renovated with plenty of luxe and glam, plus hookah and DJs yo, along with table service and a large outdoor seating area out back. It's only open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights from 10pm to 2am, because that's when all the tightly-clad good-smelling cool kids play. Don't worry, events will be booked.
>> Ecopolitan, the long standing raw and vegan eatery on Lyndale in Uptown, quietly closed after 15 years of, well, not cooking. In my opinion, it was not good, and there are better vegan offerings popping up all over the place these days.
>> Radisson RED hotel will be opening up in East Town before you know it. The more modern and coolhip little sister to Radisson BLU, this new property is all about the wifi, bringing your pets, games + event studios, art, picnic tables, and OUIbar + KTCHN: their forthcoming bar and eatery.
>> Seward's Co-op Creamery Cafe is ready to come back online, as of Monday the 12th. They retooled the space to fix what wasn't working with sound and layout and vibe, and have a new chef in Katie Nielsen. They've put up the new menu that seems more easy-eating and neighborhood friendly, plus there will finally be ice cream at the creamery (Sonny's and some homestyle soft serve). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will all be counter-service, no table service, and the no tipping policy will stay in effect (which seems more natural when there are no actual servers).
>> Happy to hear that Max Thompson will be relaunching the 128 Café, which he closed earlier this spring for a revamp, though it will come with a new name: Stewart's. The crew found an old coupon book in the rubble during demo and he couldn't help feeling that the new space needed a new connection, "At one point, Stewart’s was a true neighborhood cafe (in this very space) selling wonder bread, spam, saltines along with burgers and 3.2 beer" Thompson said. The lower level restaurant will have a full liquor license and Marvel Bar's Tyler Kleinow will be crafting the new cocktail menu. The food will be more casual, simpler, more a la carte with "small plates celebrating the varied collective American experience with a small lean towards classic dishes and bar-friendly items …with a little twist or extra kick. We really want to have some fun with it! Less large plate, protein-based dishes.... look for a burger or two, kimchi tostadas, chicken fried stuff, lots of vegetables." Fingers crossed it could softly open as early as the 2nd or 3rd week in Sept.
>> To help support the aid efforts in Italy after last week's devastating earthquake, which centered in the small town of Amatrice (the origin of the spicy smoky porky all' Amatriciana sauce you love), all weekend (Sept. 2-4) Broders' will donate $5 to the #bucatini4amatrice campaign for every bowl purchased, and guests will have the chance to donate their own cash in a Red Cross box on site. The home of pasta needs you.
>> Here's some hot intel: Chef Erik Anderson (fresh off his Ganzo-San pop ups) is making Japanese fried chicken sandwiches at Lowry Hill Meats today and tomorrow. Get it now, chums, both days run only until supplies run out.
>> Let's consider that the best bar in all of cinematic history is Rick's Café Américain, and let's be done. This weekend you can get an intimate showing of Casablanca at the Trylon Microcinema and it will almost feel like you can smell the smoke and taste the gin. Just don't get emotional and stand up and sing La Marseillaise ... or do.
>> Solo Vino is offering 20% off all rosé wines today and tomorrow still, so you can stock up and not feel bad about drinking them in October. Or November. Or Dailyber.
>> If you're staying in town this Sunday, start your porky festing for the month with Day Block Brewing's Porktoberfest. They'll kick it off at noon with a ton of live music, bags, bacon, more pork, and a growler painting contest.
>> I can't believe it's the 8th anniversary of Lift Bridge Brewing's annual Pickin' & Grinnin' event on Sept. 10. If you haven't gone to the brewery, to actually help harvest hops while you sip beers and listen to bluegrass music and eat sausages, well you haven't lived, have you. Get there before 3pm so you can watch them dump your hours labor into the kettle to make the fresh hopped Harvestor which will come out a few weeks after.
>> I want to get this on your calendar so that you can start mapping out gut space. MPLS Pizza Week is a thing, and it kicks off on Sept. 11 with an all-you-can-eat-and-drink pizza party at Pig Ate My Pizza with Fulton Beer. THEN, your week keeps getting saucier with events every night, including a beer bus trip to the Pizza Farm, pizza trivia at Carbone's, and the Friday night Pizza Camp on the 16th, where you go actual overnight camping with other pizza enthusiasts (there are probably no clowns in the woods, probably).
>> Also just want to remind you that this is your last month to get in on chef Maddie Wilson's pop-up called Venture during Travail's Spotlight of her. Wilson is a longtime Travailian, with six years under her apron, and her takeover of the The Rookery's 16 seat luxury diner bar is getting raves from people on my Twitter feed.