If you are a wannabe restaurateur or an established one, I have a deal you can’t resist . . . and shouldn’t. And if you love food, I also have an idea for something you probably want to get on sooner rather than later.First, the Jerry’s Hardware store in Miracle Mile on Excelsior Boulevard is moving. Come January, the space is available. And since the building is only one story high the HVAC build will be minimal, so GUESS WHAT? Let’s make a restaurant happen there. We need something in that neighborhood, and it would be the perfect spot for a prepared foods and specialty deli serving breakfast and lunch only, or how about a small food hall such as a Minnesota version of Eataly? Or perhaps a noodle bowl and shabu shabu parlor? A great American BBQ stop? Perhaps a remade American diner concept with a focus on grandmother’s comfort food? Who knows . . . what I can tell you is that the location is great, the parking is voluminous, the space is yours to create, and I (along with 500,000 others) am in desperate need of a new place to eat in my neighborhood. Interested? Talk to Fay at 952-929-3423 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone needs to go to meritage-stpaul.com and buy tickets for the First Annual Meritage Oyster Festival on Sunday, October 9, beginning at 12 p.m. According to Russ and Desta Klein, “all five species of oysters are expected to be available, including the elusive Olympia.” So that’s enough for me, but what I love about this bivalve block party bash is how ambitious and well thought out the event is. And WE ALL NEED TO SUPPORT THIS because like Ramen Fest and a handful of other cool local food events driven by small entrepreneurs, if we don’t, they won’t happen again.
So what’s so cool about Meritage’s event?
You get to “meander through shucking stations manned by oyster farmers from both coasts, including the famous Hama Hama from Hood Canal, WA; the award-winning Island Creek from Duxbury, MA; Penn Cove Shellfish from Coupeville, WA; and grower of the Genuine Blue Point oyster, Blue Island Shellfish from Blue Point, NY.” Now I have been to four of those five farms and you will be amazed by what you will learn from these amazing purveyors and growers. Russ also promised that “all of the farmers will be hosting interactive seminars and guests will be able to learn and taste the basics at an Oysters 101 class, or dig a little deeper into the specific merroir of both coasts at West Coast and East Coast specific seminars.” Merroir . . . I love it. My homies at Island Creek coined that phrase.
Russ also says, “Lift Bridge Brewery will launch its first ever Oyster Stout, made from our very own oyster shells. Enjoy your pint, and even join us at the pairing station to learn about the beer, and pairing oysters with it. The Pairing Station, sponsored by Lift Bridge and Southern Wine and Spirits, will be available throughout the day offering insight into the pairing of wine, beer & cocktails with bivalves.” If you have oyster averse attendees Meritage is offering a menu of burgers, lobster rolls, fried clams, steamers, oyster po boys, and more on that day, the restaurant itself is closed. There will also be a celeb-shucking contest and I URGE you to get tickets now, as it will surely sell out. Go to meritage-stpaul.com for tickets.