We already include Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar as one of the places to visit in St. Paul's Lowertown (see our other picks here), but funky, arty space is adding a full kitchen and a full bar. The restaurant will be expanding into the space next door. The new chef, name not yet ready to be disclosed, will begin by adding new food selections and possibly adding a breakfast menu. The Pioneer Press reports construction is expected to be finished in late June.
—It's finally nearly May, which means May Day. This year, the annual In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater's parade and Powderhorn Park festival actually lands right smack dab on May 1st. It's got to be a sign. Pack the family and a blanket and hit the park. Be on the lookout for food trucks, food stands and impromptu drum circles.
—Another sure sign of spring is that Chef Shack's Bay City restaurant is opening for the season. Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer's sweet little country restaurant is a road trip destination. As if the delicious food and bucolic setting weren't enough to beckon from the open road, the ladies are doing a chef partnership series coming up. On May 7 Jack Riebel (of the forthcoming Lexington revival) will be stopping by and on May 28 Stewart Woodman (late of Heidi's) will be there. You'll want to make reservations for that.
—Changes are afoot at Co-op Creamery. The Seward neighborhood restaurant has axed dinner service and parted ways with chef Lucas Almendinger.
—Other changes happening around town includes a menu shift over at St. Paul's Strip Club Meat & Fish. Co-owner and chef J.D. Fratzke is shifting focus off the steaks and onto the popular small plates. He's also bringing back some favorite dishes like the beet pickled deviled eggs.
—Tongue in Cheek is embracing its veggie-loving friends with vegan offerings. In addition to the already vegan hash on the brunch menu, there will also be a rotating Vegasm dish on the dinner menu.
—Como Dockside is also making some tweaks, adding easier ordering on the lakeside patio. Fans are already buzzing that the Cajun-influenced foods are better than ever paired with serene water vistas.
—Sad to hear of the passing of Bill Morrissey this week. The man who built Morrissey Hospitality that runs the St. Paul Grill and Pazzaluna (among many other ventures) succumbed to cancer at the age of 61. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.