BIZ BUZZ // Tour companies offer new ways to see the city

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August 1, 2011
By: Jeremy Zoss
Jeremy Zoss
Whether you’re just visiting or a lifelong native, there’s always more to Minneapolis to discover, and several tour companies are offering a new way to make those discoveries.

Those looking to see the city and get a little exercise at the same time should check out Twin Cities Jogging Tours, founded by lifelong jogger and former Snap Fitness franchise owner Angie Groettum.

Groettum was inspired to start her business because she knows first-hand how difficult it can be to find a good route through an unfamiliar city. “I always jog when I travel and it’s sometimes difficult to know where to go,” she said.

Twin Cities Jogging Tours offers five basic tour options that range from $30–$45 and vary in length, route and intensity. Tour guides will share historic information about locations on the route, as well as current events happening in the area.

Unlike many of the other tour options, Twin Cities Jogging Tours are available at various times, six days a week. All tours include water and a T-shirt. For more information, visit twincitiesjoggingtours.com.

Another fitness option is City Running Tours, the New York-based company that recently added tours in Minneapolis. City Running Tours offers runs for both groups and individuals. Like Twin Cities Jogging Tours, City Running Tours informs runners about the history of the area during runs and has themed runs, such as one that ends with a tour of Target Field and a “beer run” with stops to sample local brews.

City Running Tours’ Minneapolis Manager Nathan Harrington says that there’s plenty of room for the various tour companies to operate in the city, and is excited that so many tour companies are popping up at the same moment. “It’s great to be a part of this movement to showcase the city,” said Harrington. “The more ways we can showcase the city, the better.”

City Running Tours run seven days a week and range from $25–$45. For more information, visit cityrunningtours.com.

On the tastier side of things, Rebecca Pfeiffer founded Taste Twin Cities Food Tours after she was introduced to the concept of walking food tours in Chicago and San Francisco. She loved how the tours combined walking around the city with tasting local foods and thought the concept was a perfect fit for the Twin Cities. “This is such a foodie place,” said Pfeiffer. “And even a lot of locals don’t know some of the great places.”

Taste Twin Cities Food Tours kicked off its Minneapolis Riverwalk tour in early July, which lasts three hours and covers 1.8 miles and six stops. During the tour, participants learn about the river area and its history — and, of course, eat some food.

“There’s no better way to learn a city than eat its food,” said Pfeiffer.

Taste Twin Cities Food Tours leave from Gold Medal Park at 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Tours are limited to 12 people at a price of $43 per person.

Just as runners have more than one choice for tours, so do foodies. The similarly named Twin Cities Food Tours is now in its second season, and founder Laurie Rupe is happy to welcome the new tours to Minneapolis. “It brings visibility to all of us,” she said. According to Rupe, the boom in the local tour business has a lot to do with the economy and residents trying to get more out of their home turf.

“People can explore their own cities without having to travel too far,” she said. “I want them to get to know the history and story of the restaurant owners and the cultural and historical stops as well.”

Twin Cities Food Tours start at 11 a.m on Saturdays at Local D’Lish and head to several stops in Northeast Minneapolis. Tours are limited to 12 people at a price of $42 per person. For more information, visit twincitiesfoodtours.com.

Kieran Folliard departs from the bar business

One of the biggest names in the Minneapolis bar scene is leaving the business. Kieran Folliard, co-founder of Kieran’s, The Local, Cooper and The Liffey, has sold his stake in the pubs and its parent company, Cara Irish Pubs.

While Folliard may be leaving the bars behind, his presence will still be felt at his bars and beyond. He’s leaving to concentrate on his whiskey brand, 2 Gingers. Folliard’s bars were among the biggest sellers of Jameson whiskey in the world until he swapped out his own brand earlier this year. Folliard wants to bring 2 Gingers to other bars and liquor stores, but law prohibits him from owning both a distillery arm and a retail location such as a bar, so he sold his stake to business partner Peter Killen.

Folliard doesn’t expect any major changes to take place at any of the bars in the near future. He hopes that 2 Gingers whiskey will be on liquor store shelves by September.

The Public House opens on Washington

NORTH LOOP — The space at 700 Washington Avenue that once housed Java J’s and the short-lived North Washington Café has found a new tenant. Bar and restaurant The Public House is scheduled to open during the first week of August, and is promising a focus on beer and wine, including special tasting events.

The Public House will be hosting a National Night Out party on Aug. 2, as well as a Crispin Cider tasting event on Aug. 8. The standard menu includes small plates like several crostini offerings, pot stickers and more. Nearly all menu items are less than $10.

Ruff Love doggy daycare coming in September

SHERIDAN — Northeast dog owners looking for a helping hand will have a new option in September when Ruff Love opens at 1528 Marshall St. NE. Owners Jessen Como and Charles Johnson have long been involved with dogs and wellness, and hope to become a key part of the dog-loving community with unique features not found at other dog daycare services.

In addition to 7,000 square feet of indoor space across four rooms and 20,000 feet of outdoor space with an agility course, Ruff Love will offer dog training, all-natural treats and holistic therapy, including massage for dogs. Dog daycare will be offered from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., with private training sessions available from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Johnson also hopes to use the large warehouse space for special events, such as dog-friendly art openings, movie nights and singles nights.

“We think we have a concept that will fit in well in Northeast,” said Johnson. “Minneapolis was lacking a doggie daycare, and this space is just perfect.”

NE Falafel King extends hours

WINDOM PARK — Now that Falafel King has built a solid wall along its alley to shield local residents, the drive-thru window is open until 3 a.m. most nights of the week.

The wall was completed in mid-July at 1851 Central Ave. NE. The city of Minneapolis required the business to build a masonry wall in order to keep later hours.

Restaurant seating is open Tuesday through Saturday until midnight, with the drive-thru operating until 3 a.m. On Sunday and Monday, the restaurant is open until 10 p.m.

Saucy Burt’s brings Italian to Nicollet Mall

NICOLLET MALL —The street food trend shows no signs of slowing down. Another new food vendor has staked a claim at 5th & Nicollet: Saucy Burt’s, an Italian-American food cart run by Sarah Burt.

After a career in politics, Burt decided to focus on what she was truly passionate about: cooking. She dove into Minneapolis’ restaurant scene, finding work in big-name kitchens like Haute Dish. “But I didn’t want to wait to cook my food,” Burt says. “Street Food is a really fantastic opportunity for young chefs.”

Noted

Those looking for a responsible coffee option can have sustainably grown beans delivered by bicycle by Brews Coffee, a new delivery service. Order online at Brewscoffee.tk.

The Rosa Mexicano restaurant in the former TGI Friday’s space on 6th & Hennepin is scheduled to open on an unspecified day in August.

Be’wiched Deli began a la carte sandwich delivery on July 19. Check out bewicheddeli.com for menu options.

Urban Harvest, 2311 18th Ave NE, has closed. The café was one of the original tenants of the Stinson Marketplace development in Northeast Park.

Reach Jeremy Zoss at jzoss@mnpubs.com. Michelle Bruch contributed to this report.