The Holland neighborhood’s side of Central Avenue is seeing a new generation of businesses, giving Northeasters even more reasons to flock to the bustling area. From a local restaurateur’s new tapas bar to a “School of Rock”-style music school, the Central & Lowry area is now home to a new cast of local businesses.
Costa Blanca Bistro
2416 Central Ave. NE
Local restaurateur Hector Ruiz has opened yet another restaurant concept in Minneapolis — his fifth, so far — but instead of South Minneapolis, he has ventured to the Central Corridor of Northeast Minneapolis. His new tapas bar, Costa Blanca Bistro, offers a dinner menu of $7-$16 plates featuring everything from a red snapper ceviche ($10) with avocado mousse and jicama to black ink pasta ($12) with shrimp and scallops. The restaurant, which quietly opened this summer, also serves brunch on Fridays and weekends starting at 10 a.m., with a menu that features staples like waffles and pancakes to unique plates like sautéed mussels. Ruiz is also behind Café Ena, Rincon 38, La Fresca and La Ceiba.
The Water Bar & Public Studio
2516 Central Ave. NE
Central Avenue is no stranger to bars and taprooms, but the Water Bar & Public Studio is unlike any in all of Northeast Minneapolis. Owners Shanai Matteson and Colin Kloecker recently opened the concept, one part water-focused educational project and one part art business, during Art-A-Whirl. The taproom serves tasting flights of free water from cities across the metro, weaving in conversations with local water experts to get patrons to think about what goes into each glass. In the back, there’s also an incubator for artists and designers to connect with the water bar theme and sell their work. Water Bar & Public Studio is open to the public during events and regularly on Mondays from 5-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sarah Jane’s Music School
2522 Central Ave. NE
Sarah Jane Perbix has played at Rock the Garden and the “Late Show with David Letterman,” but for the past year she’s had a new audience on Central Avenue. The longtime music teacher, who’s played with local musicians like Jeremy Messersmith and Cloud Cult, opened Sarah Jane’s Music School last spring and has already cultivated more than 300 students. The school, which is open to students of all ages, abilities and instruments, also employs a roster of about a dozen classically trained teachers and local music veterans to pass on their skills.
2402 Central Ave. NE
Anelace Coffee proprietors Eric Olney and Caitlin Shrestha have settled into Northeast Minneapolis after opening the third-wave café. The shop features a rotating cast of roasters and single-origin selections, plus ever-creative specials — this season you can try a coffee and lemonade concoction Arnold Palmer style. It also has pastries from Rustica Bakery. Anelace is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
2506A Central Ave. NE
In just a couple short years, Fair State Brewing Cooperative has made a name for itself with its well-made and often unique brews. The brewing co-op, located in one of the Northeast Investment Cooperative’s properties, is the first of its kind in Minnesota. Head brewer Niko Tonk churns out German-style and pale brews, but Fair State is also known for its sour beers, like the hibiscus-infused Roselle or Cromulence, a sour wheat beer modeled after a classic Berliner Weisse. The co-op model is also drawing attention with another brewing cooperative, newcomer Broken Clock Brewing, slated to open in the 56 Brewing space in Northeast Minneapolis.
2506 Central Ave. NE
Just next door to Fair State Brewing Cooperative, you can pair your beer with local baked goods. Aki Berndt’s German bakery, Aki’s BreadHaus, offers fresh-baked pretzels, sweets like cherry streusel and cookies, and plenty of breads, from cardamom-infused loaves to an organic honey oat. The bakery, which is open 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, also offers daily specials and coffee from Sweetwater Roasters.
Correction: A previous version of the story said Anelace Coffee carried pastries from Nokomis Bakeshop, Aki’s Breadhaus and Solomon’s Bakery, but it no longer does.