As the curbside mountains of snow suddenly vanish and it’s actually too warm to wear a parka, it’s dawning on us that spring might actually be around the corner. As we kiss February farewell for another year, it’s time to get serious about some of these about to open restaurants. On the horizon is a mega-watt food hall, upscale Mexican fare (with a side of tacos), lakeside dining and the burger that became a legend. These are the most anticipated spring restaurant openings in the Twin Cities.
Location: 267 W. Seventh Street, St. Paul
Key Players: Jesse Held, Michael DeCamp, Jester Concepts
Projected Opening: Before March 17
Construction is moving quickly at this second location for the wildly popular, subterrean Minneapolis bar. Parlour has become synonymous for cutting edge cocktails and a cult-status burger. This second location has a much different layout than the first, with basically four storefronts, transformed into three distinctive spaces. First is a dive bar styled standing space with pull-tabs. Next is a a curvy longer bar for a diner where chef DeCamp is embracing his love of high/low end food. The chef built his name in fine dining (he also oversees the menu’s at the company’s Borough and Monello restaurants.) However, DeCamp holds in his heart a low-brow love of places like Madison’s Mickie’s Dairy Bar. At this bar, diners can order eggs any way, including on top of that burger.
Location: 805 East 38th Street, Minneapolis
Key Players: Jared Brewington and Jordan Carlson
Projected Opening: March
This beloved pop-up has landed a home in South Minneapolis. Brewington comes from a restaurant-family background, his father used to own South Minneapolis Rib Cage back in the day. He’s using that history and entrepenural knowledge to build this new restaurant with the help of chef Jordan Carlson. The menu will have, as one might expect, plenty of grits bowls, using Anson Mills stoneground corn and offer a slew of toppings, including Gulf shrimp. Vegans won’t be left out, Brewington told Mpls./St. Paul Magazine that there will be a hoppin’ John burger served with a vegan aioli.
Location: 928 West 7th Street, St. Paul
Key Players: Nick Rancone and Thomas Boemer
Projected Opening: Early Summer
Keg & Case will be the revitalized Schmidt Brewery food hall on West 7th. In addition to food stalls and shops like the very first permanent Sweet Science Ice Cream scoop shop and a Five Watt Coffee shop there will be a gorgeous anchor restaurant of rustic fine dining from the duo that also operate Revival and Corner Table. In Bloom will continue to get ingredients from the small family farms and foragers that these guys already work with and prepare everything over a twenty foot wood-fire fueled hearth. The restaurant will be large and the construction has been moving at a methodical pace. Right now, there are doors and duct work. After nearly a year of anticipation, the opening date is creeping closer.
Location: Como Lake Pavillion
Key Players: Matty O’Reilly and JD Fratzke
Projected Opening: Spring
The successful collaboration between chef JD Fratzke and restaurant owner Matty O’Reilly continues with the duo’s newest plans to take over the restaurant inside the historic Como Lake Pavillion. O’Reilly built Republic and Fratzke came to local fame as the chef/co-owner of the Strip Club Meat and Fish and Saint Dinette. The two already operate the nearby Delicata pizza place and Highland Park’s darling Bar Brigade along with the seasonal, waterfront Red River Kitchen at City House. The new restaurant takes the place of Como Dockside, which closed last fall. The new restaurant will be open for the warmer months from 11am to 9pm and then do a weekend-only brunch when the weather shifts back to cold. Construction on the room will de-emphasize the prominent bar and make it much more family friendly to appeal to park-goers.
Location: 5445 Eden Prairie Road, Minnetonka
Key Players: Danielle and Chris Bjorling
Projected Opening: Summer
This counterpart to the couple’s The Copper Hen on Eat Street is moving forward with an ambitious construction plan to convert an old Dairy Queen into a quaint little eatery with some cool indoor/outdoor features. The flavors will be a bit bolder, portions a bit heaftier than the first restaurant and instead of all manner of boozy cupcakes, there will be boozy milkshakes. All the permits have been cleared and construction has just started to gain steam. There will be lunch and dinner served on weekdays with an additional weekend brunch. The outdoor patio with the roaring firepit will be ready in time to savor some long summer nights outside.
Key Players: Luke Shimp, Todd Macdonald
Projected Opening: Summer
The second Red Rabbit will land in the former Wild Onion spot on St. Paul’s little shop-loving stretch of Grand Avenue. Restaurant owner Luke Shimp is again partnering with chef Todd Macdonald to bring a huge selection of cocktail/wine/beer and family friendly foods like fresh pasta, pizzas, roasted whole cauliflower heads and more. The Onion has just closed, so the building process is just getting going.
Location: 712 15th Ave. NE Minneapolis
Key Players: Chef Jose Alacron and the Lyn 65 Players
Projected Opening: Mid-Summer
Construction is still happening at this dual restaurant space in Northeast, not far from the intersection of Broadway and Central. After a few unforseen delays, Popol Vuh and Centro are on track to open halfway through the summer season. Centro will be a more casual, taco restaurant and Popol Vuh will serve elevated Mexcian fare from chef Jose Alacron. Behind the bar on the Centro side will be margaritas and sangria on tap, plenty of local beers, plus large mezcal and tequila selections. Plus, the bar team is hard at work on a guava mezcal slushy. The space will be light, bright and colorful.