WAREHOUSE DISTRICT — The former home of Spin Nightclub, 10 5th St. S., could reopen as new restaurant and bar The Pourhouse as soon as June 1. Co-owner Deepak Nath would like people to know one important thing right away about the new concept.
“This is absolutely nothing like Spin,” he said.
While The Pourhouse will host live events and entertainment with a cover charge, he stresses that it is a restaurant and bar, not a club. Unlike Spin, The Pourhouse will feature a full kitchen and be open for lunch and happy hour. The restaurant will be decorated in a 1920s Prohibition style and boast a few unique features. Along with a 100-person outdoor area, the restaurant will feature jail cell-style restrooms and an upstairs area called “The Hooch Room.” The biggest attraction, literally, will be its massive 24-foot television screen.
The Pourhouse co-owner Deepak Nath is a project manager for Nath Companies and has a long history in the restaurant industry. Nath Companies owns the Axel’s restaurant chain, and Deepak Nath has owns or has owned nightclubs Fahrenheit, Envy and Bootleggers. His partners operate the Maple Tavern in Maple Grove.
Rooftop dining coming to former Shinders space
HENNEPIN — The name, operators or concept of Hennepin Avenue’s next restaurant haven’t been revealed yet, but it will have a feature that will get people talking regardless: rooftop dining unlike any the city has ever seen.
The rooftop dining space at 8th & Hennepin will feature a four-panel movable wall that folds over itself to open or close the dining space based on weather needs. When open, an entire wall of the rooftop dining area will disappear. When closed, it will function as a standard interior space. No other space in Minnesota uses a similar retractable system, said Greg Houck of design firm Shea Inc.
The rooftop dining area will seat 128 diners and feature a small prep kitchen, bathrooms and an elevator to the 100-person main floor dining room. The unnamed restaurant will also occupy most of the first floor of the former Shinders building. Shea will occupy a tiny portion of the first floor and the second floor.
Shea is designing the restaurant space and has worked on several of Hennepin Avenue’s best-known restaurants, such as Fogo de Chao, Solera, Seven, Rosa Mexicano and Butcher & The Boar.
Angel Food Bakery opening late April
DOWNTOWN CORE — Hell’s Kitchen’s long-discussed bakery will be opening its doors soon. Angel Food Bakery and Coffee Bar will open on April 23, with a grand opening celebration planned for Mother’s Day. The bakery will technically operate as a separate company and be located on the street level above the underground Hell’s Kitchen, 80 9th St. S.
According to Hell’s Kitchen and Angel Food co-owner Cynthia Gerdes, the bakery was born out of necessity. Limited space in the restaurant’s kitchen caused baking to be pushed to an overnight shift. The restaurant’s landlord offered up the first-floor space for a bakery, which Hell’s Kitchen’s ownership decided to open to the public. Angel Food is already delivering baked goods to Hell’s Kitchen via an elevator into the restaurant’s kitchen, and customers who visit Angel Food will find themselves in the midst of a real working bakery.
“You are literally going to be sitting in the middle of a real working kitchen,” said Gerdes.
Angel Food Bakery and Coffee bar will offer bread, cupcakes, donuts and other baked goods, all made completely from scratch. The bakery will also offer many gluten-free options and serve local coffee brand Peace Coffee. Gerdes points out that Angel Food Bakery and Coffee Bar will be one of the very few independent coffee shops downtown.
“We’re serious about our coffee,” said Gerdes.
Angel Food Bakery and Coffee Bar will open at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays and 7:30 a.m. on weekends.
Devil’s Advocate opening May 7
DOWNTOWN CORE — After missing a few planned opening dates due to construction delays, Devil’s Advocate is now scheduled to open May 7. As work on the former home of Hell’s Kitchen and The Inn at 89 10 St. S. progressed, issues arose that couldn’t be ignored, such a severed floor joist that was causing part of the kitchen to sink into the basement. Those issues have all been resolved, and the finishing touches are now being put on the space.
“If we don’t open this time, you’ll know it’s all my fault,” joked owner Erik Forsberg.
Forsberg plans to open with just the front bar section of the restaurant at first, then open the rear dining room a little later. It’s an unsurprising move given the restaurant’s heavy focus on beer. While the wine list is impressive, the beer selection will no doubt be a major draw. Featuring over 40 tap lines, Forsberg said the beer selection will be split equally between American craft beers and imports. The goal, he said, is to let consumers compare American craft beers to the original European styles, such as a Belgian-style American Beer and a true Belgian beer.
“We want to really educate people about beer styles,” said Forsberg.
Street food season hits full swing
With the early return of warm weather, the first brave street food vendors have been trickling back onto downtown’s streets for the last two months. Now that spring has officially arrived, the trickle has become a flood. The majority of last year’s vendors have returned, new vendors are hitting the streets and others are expanding their offerings.
Vendors like World Street Kitchen, Vellee Deli, Hola Arepa, Nate Dogs, Simply Steve’s and many others are all back on the streets. For real-time updates on where your favorites can be found, visit mspstreetfood.com, which features an interactive map of street food vendors.
Of course, with so many to choose from, it can be hard to pick your favorites, and their numbers are growing all the time. In mid-April, Asian food truck Golden Tummy hit the streets with a blend of Chinese and Thai offerings. Mary Yang operated a pair of food trucks in Montana and recently gifted one of the trucks to her daughter Nancy, who has lived in the Twin Cities for 15 years.
“A lot of people in Montana really like our food. We thought we would see if people here liked it too,” Yang said.
Another truck you can expect to see a lot this year is Little G’s Mobile Pizzeria, a wagon operated by Johnny Goral. Goral said he was inspired by his brother, who owns restaurants such as Cuzzy’s. Little G’s actually debuted last year, but only on a part-time basis. Now out of a full-time schedule, Little G’s is, according to Goral, the only mobile pizzeria in the Midwest.
Little G’s offers a variety of personal pizzas with crispy, chewy Neapolitan crusts, such as meatball, pepperoni and prosciutto with onion. The vendor recently added salads and desserts as well.
Ballpark gets exclusive beer from Surly Brewing
TARGET FIELD — The list of local Minnesota libations available at Target Field continues to grow, with a few key additions made at the start of the 2012 season. Target Field neighbor Fulton Beer is now selling pints at the stadium’s Townball Tavern, and local whiskey producer/former Kieran’s Irish Pub owner Kieran Folliard is now selling his signature 2 Gingers Whiskey at the ballpark. Minnesota beer heavyweight Surly Brewing is now making its pints available in Section 124, including an all-new Surly beer that is only available at Target Field.
The new beer, Surly Bandwagon, is a West Coast India Pale Ale, the first such beer from Surly. Bandwagon will replace Surly’s popular Furious at the ballpark, which is in short supply due to long waiting lists for the beer.
“We called it Bandwagon because right now there’s a lot of bandwagons to jump on, so it really named itself,” said Surly president Omar Ansari in a statement. “We’ve got the craft beer bandwagon, the IPA bandwagon, the Surly bandwagon and even the Twins bandwagon. Well now we’re here, so it’s time to get on the Bandwagon while there’s still room.”
The Brick announces renovations after rough opening
WAREHOUSE DISTRICT — After a rocky opening that caused widespread complaints on social media and prompted the club to refund tickets to all dissatisfied customers, renovations are underway at The Brick.
The club’s first show, reunited 90s band Jane’s Addiction, was marred by a wide variety of complaints both large and small: long lines to enter the club, poor beer selection, a too-narrow entryway, overzealous security, too few bathroom stalls, a hard-to-find merchandise table.
The largest and most frequent complaint, however, are sightlines in the club. The first show was so packed with people that few could move around the space and even fewer could actually see the stage. While official capacity of the club is around 2,000 people, many in the audience grumbled that attendance should have been slashed by several hundred.
The Brick’s ownership, AEG Live, is taking the complaints seriously. The club at 111 5th St. N. will raise its stage, add second-floor tiers, reconfigure the front entryway, add high-definition TV monitors throughout the club and other changes. The club will also add local beers and reduce the number of tickets sold. Several shows in May and June have been moved to other venues to accommodate construction. The scheduled Incubus, Shinedown and Marilyn Manson Shows have been moved to the Myth Nightclub. The Shins concert on June 1 has been moved to the Orpheum Theatre.
“We have been working non-stop since that first show to create a revised design that will adequately address all of the concerns,” said The Brick general manager Jeff Kehr in a statement. “We are excited to be in downtown Minneapolis and plan on being an asset to the live music community for years to come.”
Artistic Indulgence moving to
LOGAN PARK — Faced with higher rent prices, Artistic Indulgence is moving off East Hennepin Avenue in April to relocate to the Thorp building at 1618 Central Ave. NE.
Co-owner Mike Menasco said the move is a bit scary after working for 10 years on Hennepin, but he is happy to have a spot next to the landmark Diamonds Coffee Shoppe.
“There will still be custom framing and the gallery,” he said. “But this will be more focused on our personal art.” The owners’ work includes abstract freeform painting, jazz-focused pieces, clay painting and photography.
Customers will find the store located off the Diamonds common area at the center of the building’s first floor. Customers who visit the new site can receive a 35 percent discount.
Nick and Eddie, the restaurant and bar that was a favorite of the local music scene, has closed. The space at 1612 Harmon Place will become a second location for Café Maude, the popular bistro at 5411 Penn Ave. S.
Mona, the new restaurant from chef Lisa Hanson in Accenture Tower, opened its doors on April 18. The restaurant offers free parking in any unreserved space in the underground lot below the building and is open Monday through Saturday.
Finnegan’s, the beer company that donates its profits to organizations fighting poverty, has found a new office in Elliot Park. The company has moved its offices to a 1,600-square-foot space at 609 10th St., which is also home to Segue Café. Finnegan’s beer is brewed at the Summit brewery in St. Paul.
Art of Chiropractic has become Ambiente Gallerie, adding biomechanical evaluation, massage, nutrition counseling, women’s health and accident rehab services to its chiropractic offerings. A grand opening for Ambiente’s artist loft-style space at 505 1st Ave. NE is planned for May 4.
Keegan’s Pub will host its annual Kentucky Derby Party on May 5. Visitors are encouraged to wear appropriate Derby attire and the Pub will start serving the official drink of the event, the Mint Julep, at 4 p.m.
Michelle Bruch contributed to this report Got a buzz tip? Contact Jeremy Zoss at firstname.lastname@example.org.