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Four New Food Stands to Get Excited About Inside North Loop’s Latest Food Hall

Detroit-Style Pizza, Hawaiian Plates, Asian Soul Food, and Fried Chicken open Monday

A rectangular pizza topped with tater tots, creamy sauce, an a pickle wrapped in ham garnish
Detroit style by way of Minnesota
John Yuccas/Eater Twin Cities

North Loop Galley opens on the ground floor of the Nordic building on December 16 with an opening roster of four restaurant stands built to dominate the food world in 2020: Ono Hawaiian Plates, Wrecktangle Pizza, Thigh Times Birdhouse, and Soul Fu.

The stands line a large, open room that’s also anchored by a bar put together by the corporate company behind the concept. The storefronts are independently run by local, hospitality veterans, each taking a step into these new ideas, that are the culmination of years of dreams, work, and planning.

Each one will serve lunch and dinner daily.

Ono Hawaiian Plates

This business has been operating as an in-demand pop-up serving plates of comfort food from two Hawaiian transplants. Owners Jess Kelley and Warren Seta, had up until now, been operating the business as a side hustle, while maintaining day jobs, despite every pop-up being thronged with fans craving the comfort of the islands. They had originally considered opening at Graze, the other, larger food hall in the North Loop, but the timing wasn’t right. This new location on Washington Avenue (right next to The Freehouse) is perfect.

quick pickles, salmon, a mound of macaroni salad, and rice from Ono Hawaiian Plates
Plates of comfort food that have been tough to track down will now be readily available

Chef Seta has worked all over the country, and is a known name in the fine dining world. He’s amused, humbled, and appreciative that the dishes that he’s now serving come straight from the heart. On the business’ Facebook page he shares a story of eating his first Hawaiian plate lunch with his grandfather after a day on the beach, he said he must have been four or five, and that pure memory is the guiding force behind this new endeavor.

The Ono Hawaiian Plates crew with owners Jess Kelley and Warren Seta on the right

Wrecktangle Pizza

Extreme close-up of curly pepperoni pizza from Wrecktangle.
A curly pepperoni pizza with pickled peppers and a squared off crust. Detroit style with Minnesota fair.

Cocktail enthusiasts will recognize Jeff Rogers from his time Minneapolis’ subterranean cocktail lounge, Constantine. Jeff is the chef mastermind behind the project and he’s partnered with his brother Alex Rogers to run the stand. The pizza is Detroit-style, with a thick crust - like a cousin to focaccia - baked in a rectangular pan edged with crispy topped edges of cheese.

Peak MN meets DET: a rectangular/square-cut hotdish pizza garnished with a pickle in a blanket of ham and cream cheese

Pizzas vary in price from $11 to 15, with flavors ranging from basic curly pepperonis to sotalicious, pictured above with tater tots and hotdish fixings. For brunchers there are two waffles including the Knope with lots and lots of whipped cream and the everything with everything bagel seasoning and smoked salmon with cream cheese.

Cajun seasoned fried chicken in a basket with jojo fries and a slice of white bread topped with a pickle slice
Heavily seasoned chicken “wribs” are chicken thighs that are kind of like wings, and kind of like a rib at Thigh Times Birdhouse

Thigh Times Birdhouse

There was much chatter with Jared and Jenn Brewington pivoted from a phenomenal Minnesota State Fair debut to closing the South Minneapolis restaurant, Funky Grits. Turns out, this ambitious duo is far from stopping.

Jenn and Jared Brewington of Thigh Times Birdhouse

Thigh Times Birdhouse specializes in all things crispy chicken, including a chicken “wrib,” that’s actually a thigh and “tato tenders,” chicken coated in potato chips. There are various rubs and sauces available to customize the chicken experience.

A potato chip breaded chicken tender sandwich served alongside sweet potato fries

Brewington implied that the concept of these crispy fried chicken stands could translate easily, almost anywhere. Prices are in the $10 range for a meal for one, but easily scale up for whole buckets of chicken ready to be taken away.

A white bowl filled with creamy grits, topped with cubes of pork belly, garnished with thinly cut scallions
Crispy pork belly atop a plate of cheesy grits at Soul Fu, blending Asian and Southern comfort dishes

Soul Fu

Chef and owner Timmy Truong is a lifetime hospitality industry veteran with a culinary school education and family ties to Jasmine on Eat Street. This stand is the culmination of years of dreaming and traveling. While intimately knowledgable with Asian flavors, he also loves traveling to the South. It was after a trip this year to New Orleans that plans came together for exactly what his restaurant would be. Here plates of creamy corn grits are topped with crunchy, tender pork belly and dusted with a little Cajun spice blend. Fried rice is flecked with scrambled eggs and garnished with a fried chicken tender or collard greens.

Fried chicken fried rice and cavatappi mac and cheese topped with duck from Soul Fu
Chef/owner Tim Truong and the crew at Soul Fu

The Galley

While it’s been called a food hall, Galley is more an incubator for small businesses that are a part of a company that’s building these small food halls in other cities around the country. There are plenty of seats for co-working inside and a full bar. The cocktail menu is a vinyl album looking like a Prince record with Prince-themed drinks like the cocktail-formerly-known-as-an-old-fashioned, which is — spoiler alert — an old fashioned with pecan syrup, because nutty Prince = peak Minneapolis.

Seating inside North Loop Galley

Galley North Loop opens at 11 a.m. Monday December 16 at 729 Washington Avenue North in Minneapolis.

A couch draped with blankets in front of a stone-lined, gas fire outside
An outdoor seating area next to Washington Avenue

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