Biz buzz: New restaurant Devils Advocate moving into The Inns former home

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January 13, 2012
By: Jeremy Zoss and Michelle Bruch
Jeremy Zoss and Michelle Bruch

CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT — The former home of the original Hell’s Kitchen and short-lived restaurants Subo and The Inn at 89 10th St. S will soon become Devil’s Advocate, a new restaurant intended as a neighborhood bar for people who live downtown.

“The food is very approachable,” said Forsberg. “Think American bistro. What’s missing in my mind is something that is a repeat kind of place. It’s not a special occasion kind of place. It’s the kind of place with approachable food with a comfortable atmosphere that creates a great everyday experience.”

Forsberg has hired Mathew Frederick, formerly of Porter & Frye as the restaurant’s head chef. Forsberg said Frederick was the only chef he interviewed that instantly understood the casual, approachable direction he wanted for the menu. He’s confident that Frederick’s food will win fans with future diners.”

“The idea, I say, is come in for the beer and discover the food,” said Forsberg.

The beer offerings should be a big draw. Forsberg is aiming for 35 to 40 tap line and plans to offer many rare beers and a rotating selection of seasonals. “Doing a menu for a beer bar correctly is very similar to being a museum curator,” said Forsberg. “It’s not going to be the same thing all the time. It depends on the season and what you’re serving at the time.”

He is pushing for a Feb. 1 opening.


New restaurant Mona opening in Accenture Tower


CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT — The former Black Bamboo restaurant space in Accenture Tower, 333 7th St. S, will soon becoming home to Mona, a new restaurant by former Corner Table chef de cuisine Lisa Hanson.

Hanson, who studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and worked at many of New York’s finest restaurants, has been planning her own venture since leaving Corner Table in 2008.

According to Hanson, the 3,500 square-foot restaurant space has many advantages. “It’s a great builing and a very underutilized area of downtown as far as food is concerned,” she says. It also has one of the area’s few restaurant patios, skyway connections and free parking in the building's ramp after 4 p.m. — a rarity for downtown.

The interior of the restaurant is being designed by Smart Associates, which also designed local eateries such as Heidi’s, Hazel’s, Ginger Hop and many others. “We’ve got a really fun look,” said Hanson. “We want it to look like an old school cigar room slash French bistro. Very warm, a lot of dark wood, lots of leather. I want it to look like it’s been there for a while.”

As for the food, Hanson describes it as American cuisine with and emphasis on small plates. “But not tapas. It’s smaller portions so you can create your own experience and tasting menus,” said Hanson. “Smoked oysters, chicken and waffles, maybe some fun proteins like bison, elk, things like that. I’m hoping that the diners will be adventurous and try some new things.”

Hanson says the area around Accenture Tower is in need of a good restaurant and plans to feature lunch, happy hour and dinner to meet the needs of the region. Construction on Mona began in mid-January, and Hanson hopes to open for business in April.


New liquor store might replace flower shop


WINDOM PARK — A full-service liquor store could come to the Stinson Marketplace next spring, replacing Rosacker’s flower shop at 2303 18th Ave. NE.

The store would specialize in wine, craft beer and unique spirits, according to the co-owner, and the plans are still contingent on financing and city approval. The wine selection would represent all the major regions of the world, and the owners expect to offer occasional wine tastings.

“It will be a classy joint,” said the co-owner, who asked not to be named in print before he left his current job. “It’s not just a bunch of stuff on the shelves.”

More than 100 people turned out for a Windom Park meeting last October and voted in support of the liquor store.

“There has been a lot of debate on this subject for years,” said Gayle Bonneville, the staff person for Windom Park Citizens in Action. She explained that proposals for liquor stores at the Quarry and the Stinson Marketplace have always met with vocal opposition, largely because of the close proximity to residences and the parkway. “It was a surprise to a lot of people that it did go forward. [The vote] wasn’t close.”

A second new retailer is slated for the Stinson Marketplace. Signs say “Tobacco Outlet Plus” is “coming soon.”


Massage business opens above Ginger Hop


EAST HENNEPIN — A former New Zealand professional soccer player recently opened a massage therapy center above the Ginger Hop at 201 E. Hennepin Ave.

The Bodyworker is targeted at athletes. In addition to massage, the center offers ball therapy sessions so clients can learn trigger-point techniques to do at home.

“Athletes get a lot of benefit from ball therapy,” said Peter Erik Pawlowski, who started the business about a year ago and relocated the shop last fall. “[It can] increase range of motion, decrease pain and decrease tension.”

Pawlowski became interested in health care as he played soccer and dealt with the pain of having two fused lower lumbar vertebrates, the result of an earlier wrestling accident.

“Athletes have that mindset that they can work through the pain,” he said.


Spinario prepares for relocation


SHERIDAN — Big changes are in store for the former bank building at 1300 2nd St. NE. Now that city ordinances have been changed to allow taprooms within 300 feet of a church, Rob Miller expects construction on his Dangerous Man Brewing Company to begin in April.

That means current tenant Spinario Design & Gallery will be relocating shortly.

The Mid-Century Modern furniture store is relocating to 3338 University Ave. SE, and will hold a moving sale at the Northeast location throughout January and February. Co-owner Peter Dyste hopes to have regular store hours in the new location by the end of January.

Rob Miller Hopes to have Dangerous Man Brewing Company open for business in August.


Lady’s Slipper Wellness Center relocates to The Foundry building


SHERIDAN — Lady’s Slipper Wellness Center, the acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine practice that has operated in the Artisan Acupuncture storefront at 2854 Johnson St. NE, has relocated to The Foundry building, 349 13 Ave. NE.

Lady’s Slipper Wellness Center now occupies the second-floor space vacated by Tiger Rose Tattoo, which relocated to the adjacent standalone building in December.

Lady’s Slipper Wellness owner Julie Colby said the move was prompted by better-than-expected business growth. The Johnson Street location was shared with another practice, Prarie Acupuncture, and the small space quickly reached its limits.

“I didn’t expect to grow such a lovely patient base so quickly,” said Colby. “I think Northeast and the riverfront area is really welcoming to integrative healing modalities. People just kept coming.”

When Colby heard that a space opened up in The Foundry, which is a block away from her home, it didn’t take long for her to decide it would be the perfect location for her business.

“They posted an ad that morning,” said Colby. “I contacted them an hour after it went up, saw it an hour later, and an hour after that it was a done deal.”

Prarie Acupuncture will continue to operate in the Artisan Acupuncture storefront on Johnson Street.


Boom Island Brewing launches


RIVERFRONT — Minneapolis’ latest brewery Boom Island Brewing seemed to come out of nowhere when it debuted its first beers in early January, but founder Kevin Welch is definitely not jumping on the craft beer bandwagon.

He’s been developing the business plan for the new brewery at 2207 2nd St. N. for more than five years. The low profile during the early days was intentional, said Welch. But now that the official launch has occurred, there are plenty of factors that set Boom Island apart from the other new brewers.

First is its exclusive focus on Belgian-style beers. Welch and his family spent months traveling Belgium, visiting its breweries and studying with its brewmasters. He brought back several strains of yeast from his trips, which he has re-cultured for his own beers, making him the only local brewer to culture his own yeast. Over the past two years, he’s been building his brewing setup by hand — literally. Welch and his father-in-law are both accomplished welders and built much of their equipment from scratch.

Boom Island Brewing’s beers are being slowly rolled out to beer-focused restaurants and liquor stores throughout Minneapolis.

“This is a dream come true,” said Welch. “We’re so happy to finally have our beer out there.”

Reach Jeremy Zoss at jzoss@mnpubs.com.