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Despite a Lack of Culture and Climate, Minnesotans Are Determined to Do Barbecue

New Bold North restaurants attempt to capture flavors of the South

Kale Thome’s Minnesota BBQ Company
Minnesota BBQ Company/Facebook

More local chefs than ever are determined to crack the slow and low code with three new barbecue restaurants scheduled to open this year. Hot off the success of Martina, chef Daniel del Prado will next open a barbecue restaurant at 5400 Penn Avenue in Minneapolis called Colita, which translates to little tail in Spanish. Kale Thome of Travail will open Minnesota Barbecue, a take-out stand in Northeast this May. Lipstick Pig will be a sit-down restaurant and open later this year in the former Legends bar location from the owners of Eli’s and Eli’s North.

Each new spot is taking a different angle on what barbecue means to the Minneapolis food scene.

Del Prado’s project will be called Colita —a change from Diamond, an earlier name for the same project. The name of the game will be Texas barbecue with a dash of Tex-Mex flavors with a menu of oysters, escargot and beef tartare. The decor will have a 90’s nostalgia vibe, with a nod towards old-school Mexican restaurants.

The bald, tattooed chef with a salt and pepper goatee stands, arms crossed, inside a dining room with wood tables and white walls
Chef del Prado inside Martina
Kevin Kramer / Eater Twin Cities

Thome is embracing the local terroir and working on what will be a unique menu blending classic barbecued meats like brisket, ribs and pork, all raised at small Minnesota farms, with less common items like smoked duck, apple bacon sausage and uses a sauce inspired by what he grew up on in Kansas City. While working to open the shop, Thome is participating in events like March 14th Smoke Signal at Insight Brewing. Tickets are available here.

Lipstick Pig isn’t getting too cerebral in planning. The meats (and an undetermined vegetarian option) will be cooked St. Louis-style. That means a sweeter, tomato based saucy selection. Look for a late spring, early summer opening. The name is an attempt to capture the fun and humor of a Southern restaurant name.


5400 Penn Avenue South, , MN 55419 (612) 886-1606 Visit Website

Minnesota BBQ Co.

816 Lowry Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN