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The Most Anticipated Minneapolis and St. Paul Openings in 2015

Where we'll all be eating later this year.


Where: 4257 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55409, USA

Chef: Thomas Boemer
Projected opening: Spring
Shatter-crisp crust, mightily seasoned that collapses into succulent, mild flesh leaving remnants upon your fingers, chin, chest - this is the kind of meal that occupies food obsessives dreams. Corner Table's Nick Rancone and Thomas Boemer have been promising the city the fried chicken we deserve for some months now, but the duo also had a few distractions. Since the third incarnation of their highly acclaimed restaurant the entire team behind the space have been honing that delicate mix of fine dining skill with easy, familial hospitality and mind-blowing wine pairings. Now that chef de cuisine Kyle Bultnick has flawlessly clutched that passed torch inside that kitchen, Boemer is taking up his love of construction and doing some demo work on Revival.

The menu will have three stars: fried chicken from a recipe the Southern-raised Boemer has perfected, a burger that is gunning for best in the city, made with house-ground grass-fed beef and pulled pork barbecue. Boemer has proved to be a bit of a swine-whisperer after garnering fans with his cured jowl and ethereal pork belly. Concedes Rancone with a mischievous smile, "Yeah, he's alright."

J.D. Fratzke and Tim Niver. Photo by Stephanie A. Meyer

Saint Dinette

Where: Rayette Lofts, 261 East 5th Street Saint Paul

Chef: J.D. Fratzke

Projected opening: Spring 2015

Hearty, homey, indulgent, delicious: the food inside this restaurant will pull inspiration from fur traders to Creole cooking, (basically, anywhere the French once settled and left behind a bit of their flavors.) It's been called "upscale flannel" and our first few tastes of the menu fit that description. Bologna sandwiches that ooze with cheese meet classic French techniques on the dinner plates.

The new floors have finally been poured and the methodically planned space we have been waiting for slowly, but surely continues to take shape.

"When you see a stadium open, there will very likely also be a new restaurant," said Tim Niver.

For those still dying to get an early bite, they have added one more pop up to the schedule on February 2nd. Call the Strip Club (651) 793-6247 for reservations.

Landon Schoenefeld. Photo by Stephanie A. Meyer


Where: 3753 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN

Chef: Landon Schoenefeld

Projected opening: Winter 2015

Nicollet Avenue in South Minneapolis continues to rack up the eateries. This is an ambitious two-part project from HauteDish chef Landon Schoenefeld. Eater Minneapolis reports that Nighthawks — named for the famous Edward Hopper painting — will serve Schoenefeld's take on upscale diner fare. Within Nighthawks will be Birdie, a "a revolving pop-up restaurant" that will serve a tasting menu.

Handcrafted sausages from Prairie Dogs. Photo by Joy Summers

Prairie Dogs Hot Dogs and Craft Sausages

Where: 610 West Lake Street, Minneapolis

Chef: Craig Johnson and Tobie Nidetz

Projected opening: February

There have been several pop ups and a couple of crowdfunding campaigns (some benefits are still available to investors on their website) to bring the public these handcrafted sausages. The space is coming together quickly and it looks like this restaurant could open within a few weeks. All that they are waiting for now is a few permits to come through from the city.

Prairie Dogs will serve hot dogs and sausages made in house by chefs who are committed to using local products whenever possible. Expect to find a craft beer list that also has a focus on local brews alongside carefully chosen wines.

The kids menu has been written by Johnson's seven year old daughter. With all the time and thought poured into this snappy spot, the duo behind it, two chefs who have worked all over town for successfully higher end restaurants, are ready to let their dogs shine.

Unnamed Joe's Garage Project

Where: 1610 Harmon Place, Minneapolis

Chef: Peter Botcher

Projected opening: Summer 2015

The restaurant is a partnership between Joe Kaplan and the owners of nearby Butcher and the Boar. Butcher and the Boar's executive chef Peter Botcher will oversee both kitchens. Botcher said of the project, "The focus will be on chicken, two raw bars and seafood. We will continue to cook with an exciting fusion of southern influenced cuisine, with fresh modern flavors and spices. The restaurant will have both indoor and outdoor seating with a large outdoor rooftop. The restaurant will have three kitchens." The building has undergone extensive renovations, which explains why this project has taken so long. Things are moving at a more rapid pace now and we still hold out hope to soak in some summer rays atop this address with the gorgeous views of Loring Park.

A first look inside the new Sassy Spoon. Photo courtesy Tamara Brown

Sassy Spoon

Where: 5011 34th Ave S, Minneapolis

Chef: Tamara Brown

Projected opening: Early February

The pink truck has pulled into a permanent location. Sassy Spoon, best known for delivering some of the most nutritious, delicious (and gluten-free)  curbside dining around has taken up residence in the former 3 Tiers location. The spiffed up interior boasts plenty of pink and some snazzy spon decor. Brown is putting the final touches on her menu as we speak, but imagine GF dishes like tapioca-flour based crepes wrapped around savory ingredients, yucca based flatbreads with tender-crisp crusts topped with gooey cheese and perhaps a little cauliflower fried "rice." Desserts will include the "raw" cookie dough that fans found on the truck last summer. All the wine and beer will be gluten-free as well, which means you know where you can get your Burning Brother's fix. Expect to also find a selection of hard ciders.

Hours will begin with dinner service, but Brown hopes to soon expand to include weekend brunch and lunch.

Il Foro

Where: City Center, Minneapolis

Chef: Jack Riebel

Projected opening: Late Spring

The superstar lineup behind this forthcoming downtown Minneapolis eatery includes Josh Thoma and Kevin Fitzgerald of Smack Shack, Jack Riebel of Paddy Shack and the forthcoming Lex revival and Lorin Zinter, who was until recently the front of house co-owner at Heyday. Troy Unruh has been hired as the executive chef. His impressive resume includes sous chef for Mario Batali at his flagship Del Posto for three years, as well as having worked at Jean George, Le Bernardin and for David Bouley at his Austrian restaurant Danube. The menu will be Italian with an extensive pasta selection. The historic restaurant space that was once The Forum and Goodfellows will receive a gently touch as far as renovations go. Expect to dine within this spot before their other highly anticipated project, The Lexington opens later this year.


The Lexington

Where: 1096 Grand Ave. St. Paul

Chef: Jack Riebel

Projected opening: Early Summer

All of Saint Paul is chomping at the bit: when do we get The Lexington back? The historic restaurant space has required some serious TLC and these kinds of jobs cannot be rushed. Josh Thoma, Kevin Fitzgerald and Jack Riebel have tremendous respect for the city and this dining institution. They are committed to doing everyone proud with this resurrection. We have been assured, however, that progress is being made and soon enough, we will dine inside these hallowed walls once again.

Erick Harcey. Photo by Keane Amdahl

TBD Erick Harcey Linden Hills Project

Where: 4312 Upton Ave, Minneapolis

Chef: Erick Harcey

Projected opening: 2015

The old Bayer Hardware is getting new life as a combination restaurant/grab and go cafe plus a kitchen lab. Not only will eaters be able to luxuriate in the dining room over a full menu, they will also have the ability to drop in and grab a bite before winging off to yoga or a stroll around nearby Lake Harriet.

The kitchen lab will function as a private dining space and eventually as a spot for chef and owner Erick Harcey and his team to stretch their culinary muscles. (Harcey also owns and operates Victory 44.)

Construction is ongoing and Harcey notes there are a million details still being nailed down. Linden Hills newest neighborhood dining destination is coming.

Eater file photo

Erik Anderson and Jamie Malone of Brut


Where: North Loop, Minneapolis

Chef: Erik Anderson, Jamie Malone

Projected opening: 2015

These two Food & Wine Best New Chefs have teased us with their delicious pop ups as they work towards opening their restaurant together. Flavors are playful, elegant, smart and fun to tear through. They are committed to opening in the same neighborhood as they live and are looking a space, but nothing has been determined just yet. Hopefully, soon they will have an update for us.

Inside Restaurant Alma. Eater file photo

Cafe Alma

Where: 528 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis

Chef: Alex Roberts

Projected opening: The second half of 2015

Restaurant Alma, from James Beard Award winning chef Alex Roberts has long been the ideal date night destination in Minneapolis. It's where oniophiles go to geek out on wine, passionate locavores feast on the jewels of the seasons and out-of-towners are taken to see that yes, we have an incredible dining scene in our little corner of the midwest. Now, the beloved restaurant is expanding into the one-time Dunn Brothers coffee shop next door.

When we asked Roberts about the progress, he was carefully guarded as far as the progress report. They are working with Dayton Design (the same firm that designed The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar) to perfect the space and with the city on rezoning the address.

To make it just a bit easier to show off this spot to those out-of-town guests, they are also adding a boutique hotel above the cafe and coffee shop. Because of the scope of this project, it will take a little time. We have some time to bide before this spot opens, but great things come to those who wait.

The Bachelor Farmer. Eater file photo

Bachelor Farmer Cafe

Where: North Loop, Minneapolis

Chef: Paul Berglund

Projected opening: The second half of 2015

It's a similar story over at The Bachelor Farmer. At some point next year we will have a North Loop coffee destination featuring Swedish-style sandwiches and the beautiful pastries fans of the brunch cart have become so devoted to. They are still planning, permitting and plotting construction. So for now, we stare forlornly into the retail space at the front of the restaurant and wait.

Photo courtesy Pizzeria Lola

TBD Pizza Shop

Where: 165 13th Ave. N.E, Minneapolis

Chef: Ann Kim

Projected opening: Late 2015

The latest pie shop from pizza maven Ann Kim will a third location with its own vibe, name and concept. The restaurant will join her other two successful pizza-centric restaurants, Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza. Kim said, ""We're still in the early concepting and planning stages of our new restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis, and look forward to opening in the latter half of the year."

Where the new St. Genevieve will be. Photo by Joy Summers

St. Genevieve

Where: 5003 Bryant Ave S., Minneapolis

Chef: Steven Brown

Projected opening: Summer 2015

As we reported yesterday, Steven Brown is hard at work inside the former Lynn on Bryant location to create a "buvette."The chef and owner of the wildly successful Tilia said the new restaurant will be a casual American place with French influences. Here's hoping that means a fantastic pommes frites.