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The Can’t Miss Final Four Pop-Ups Hitting Minneapolis Next Week

With the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship comes a rush of fun events

‘Top Chef’s’ Justin Sutherland is taking over a brewery to kick off the Final Four
Lucy Hawthorne/Eater Twin Cities

The NCAA Final Four is fast approaching and the Twin Cities are gearing up to host a massive influx of fans. Parties are popping up all over as we build to a fever pitch of basketball excitement. These are the parties to squeeze in between games.

Justin Sutherland’s BlackStack Final Four Taproom Takeover

What: ‘Top Chef’ contestant Justin Sutherland is pulling together an MVP team of local chefs including JD Fratzke, Jametta Raspberry and Mecca Bos of House of Gristle, the Craig of Cry Baby Craig’s hot sauce, Soul Lao and more for an over the top barbecue party.

Where: BlackStack Brewing, 755 Prior Avenue N, Saint Paul

When: April 8, 4:30 to 11:30 p.m.

Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: Tickets are on sale from $35 to $105. There are VIP top-tier tickets that include the full House of Gristle experience, or GA tickets for a more low-key and budget-friendly way to roll. Whatever the ticket price, this is our number one pick for a the most fun food party to kick off festivities. Plus, it’s the only party that comes with its own movie trailer.

Whole Hog Brunch at Butcher & the Boar

What: The title is pretty self-explanatory. Although, not only is Butcher and the Boar’s executive chef Tommy Begnaud cooking up this feast, word has it that 4Bells new chef Scott Pampuch will be assisting with the pig prep.

Where: Butcher & the Boar, 1121 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis

When: Saturday April 6 and Sunday April 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: Brunch is $44.95 for grown-ups and $14.95 for kids under 12 and while it is pricey for brunch, there are whole pigs involved here and this restaurant has built a reputation on its way around the meaty arts.

Final Four Tip Off Tailgate

What: Enough of these cheffy deals, let’s get real about the games. Join like minded fans for tailgating and free samples from major food brands, bands like Fitz and the Tantrums, plus there’s a Ferris Wheel!

Where: Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis

When: The party starts Friday April 5 at 4 p.m. with events happening daily. Check the full schedule here.

Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: It’s free and companies like Buffalo Wild Wings, Pizza Hut, and Coca-Cola will have samples. Although, so will Axe Body Spray, approach that guy with caution.