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North Minneapolis Gets Another Tiny, but Mighty Drinking Destination

Plus, a 20 year local eating champion expands to downtown Minneapolis in the AM Intel

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Robb Jones in an apron smiling behind a bar
Robb Jones partners with Elliot Manthey for Meteor, expected to open next month
Joy Summers/Eater Twin Cities

Two major talents in the local bar world have teamed up to open their own bar. Robb Jones was most recently overseeing all the bars at Gavin Kaysen’s operations. After opening three restaurants with that team, Jones hast opted to strike out on his own his own little dive bar with friend and former co-worker Elliot Manthey. The former Stand-Up Franks/Donnie Dirk’s bar will become Meteor Bar. The talented twosome love a dive bar, and that’s basically what this will be, with a few snacks and affordable drinks just a hop, skip from the wildly popular North Loop neighborhood. Look for doors to open some time next month.

It’s the second small, but exciting drinking spot to open in the area. Bar Brava, a natural wine bar just opened last week on Washington Avenue. Making this corner between North Loop and Northeast an interesting draw.

Spoonriver Is Closing, and Birchwood Will Take Its Place

After a celebrated career as a champion for local, healthful eating, Brenda Langton is leaving the restaurant industry. Her Spoonriver will close mid-December after 14 years. The successor will be a teaming of Birchwood Cafe and the Farmers Union. The 24 year-old cafe and farmers collective have already teamed for several years at the Minnesota State Fair (last year’s big dish was a Kernza-grain focaccia BLT.) Owner Tracy Singleton and chef Marshall Paulsen plan to carry-on in Langton’s high-minded tradition with a wall sporting Langton’s best-known quote, “Eat your vegetables, damn it.” Look for a 2020 opening for the unnamed Birchwood/Farmers Union collaboration.

North Minneapolis Restaurant Forced to Temporarily Close After Chef Is Shot

While leaving her restaurant, Wendy’s House of Soul at 9 p.m. Friday night, chef Wendy Puckett was shot by a pellet gun in the face in what’s been described as a random drive-by shooting. The pellet lodged underneath her eye, according to her sister, Heather Warfield. As the chef recovers, the restaurant will have to be closed, during this busy holiday season. Wendy’s House of Soul is accepting donations via Venmo or CashApp in the hopes of donations

New Downtown Steakhouse Opens in the Old Barnes and Noble

801 Steakhouse opened over the weekend on Nicollet Mall. The company began in 1993 in Des Moines. Aiming to be a new destination for power lunching, the menu sports a $19 shrimp cocktail and a $79 Delmonico steak.

Dinkytown’s Getting an Avocado Restaurant Next Year

For peak “good fat”/Whole 30 January planning, it’s worth noting that Avocadish will open in Dinkytown in early 2020. Self-described as the first avocado bar in the Midwest, there’s already a second location in the works for the big Dayton’s Project in downtown Minneapolis.

612Brew Teams with El Taco Riendo

In a partnership built in pairing heaven, Northeast Brew District’s 612Brew will now serve all the taco goods from Northeast’s El Taco Riendo in its taproom. The tidy new menu will sport the taquerias tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, chimigangas, and nachos. Hungry beer drinkers can order via an app or kiosks in the taproom.