An installation built to bait the Instagrammers has landed at the Mall of America with our first visit from Candytopia. The experience has been popping up around the country (check out these photos from when it was in San Fransisco.) After runs in Santa Monica, San Francisco, New York, and Atlanta, Candytopia opens March 7 on the West side of the mega mall. Tickets are $20 for kids and $28 for adults and must be purchased before walking through. The ridiculousness is the work of Jackie Sorkin (who runs a candy-themed LA events company and stars in a TLC show called Candy Queen!), CEO John Goodman, a retail oriented businessperson, and production designer Zac Hartog. The Wonka-esque sugar wonderland features figures made of candy, plenty of sweet samples and a giant pit of “marshmallows” for playing and selfie-taking. Candytopia runs through June 30.
—There’s a new sushi/momo restaurant now open in the former Bonicelli Kitchen location on Central Avenue in Northeast called logically enough, Momo Sushi. Expect an array of sushi rolls and the stuffed Tibetan dumplings. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.
—Brandon Randolph, formerly of Pearl & the Thief has landed at the recently remodeled Shish on Grand Avenue in Mac/Groveland. Randolph is making small tweaks to the menu, including fresh sauces over jarred and amping up the already beloved Middle Eastern cuisine. The Mac Weekly says that the new breakfast menu demands attention. Randolph had competed alongside Justin Sutherland with Donald Gonzalez on the Food Network’s Iron Chef when Sutherland won the episode.
—John Randle’s, the downtown restaurant named for the former Viking, has closed. Owner Michael McDermott will install yet another concept at the location. The restauranteur had opened the 921 Nicollet Mall restaurant as Ling & Louie’s. It’s now in the process of becoming a Rojo Mexican Grill. McDermott has two more Rojo Mexican Grill locations in Edina and St. Louis Park. McDermott is also co-owner with Andrew Zimmern of Lucky Cricket.
—Pastry chef Shawn McKenzie has taken over the kitchen for the Penny’s Coffee shops around town. Locations are in downtown and Linden Hills with another in the works for Wayzata.