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Sidebar at Surdyk’s Takes the Historic Northeast Liquor Store Into an Ambitious New Era

Predictably located at the side of the store this newly reopened eatery has a fresh chef and menu

A cobalt blue tile under a copper bar is flanked by leather bar seats. Black fixtures suspended from the ceiling hold glasses. Visible in the back is a cognac colored big booth with vintage lettering spelling out “Surdyk’s.” On the very far back wall is floor to ceiling. shelving for wine and liquor bottles.
Surdyk’s Sidebar has reopened just in time to roll back the front window and tip back a glass
Jes Lahay

After briefly being open in fall 2020, Surdyk’s Sidebar has reopened with a new chef, new menu, and a dining room perfectly designed for the new dining realities. The dining room was designed by Shea, with a comfortable amount of space facing Hennepin Avenue. The whole front window can roll back, bringing fresh air in to circulate through the restaurant and afford diners great views of the lively thoroughfare.

In the kitchen now is Randall Prudden, a Chicago native who has spent time in the kitchens of Alinea and Next. He and his wife relocated to Northeast Minneapolis, where he first worked for Gavin Kaysen at Spoon and Stable. When Sidebar was looking for a new chef, Prudden was also looking for a new opportunity nearer to his home.

The stylized front door has a metal S in an art deco style that also functions as the door handle
The restaurant is the newest chapter in Surdyk’s history, the liquor store has been serving the neighborhood since 1934

His menu is built for both casual get-togethers with friends, or a romantic night out, with snacks like green garlic fritters with a creamy dipping sauce or cheese curds with hot honey, or New York Strip with black garlic sauce. There’s even a requisite Minnesota cheeseburger.

The copper exterior of the restaurant is dominated by a black silloutted garage door front window space that occupies much of the facade. It’s all visible past sidewalk tables decorated with pussy willows.
The restaurant, designed by Shea, features a small sidewalk patio, with heaters, and a roll-back front window that can open on sunny days

Surdyk’s has been a landmark in Northeast Minneapolis for years and the restaurant is another addition to the historic liquor store. The Surdyk’s family has been serving the area since 1934. The liquor store first opened just after prohibition ended. The business moved into its current address in 1967 and expanded into grocery sales. The current store includes an array of wine, liquor, beer, and a cheese shop with a gourmet grocery and deli that also does catering and delivery.

A corner view of the blue tiled bar with the low profile leather seats positioned around it.
Surdyk’s has long built its reputation on wine, but the restaurant sports a full bar with plenty of cocktail options

The new restaurant, located on the side, is the next step in the evolution. Dinner hours are limited to Wednesday through Sunday for now, with some dishes that could be interpreted as brunch available during the day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Reservations are available for the inside seats and patio tables, where there are also heaters.

A buff leather booth stretches around a corner and along the back wall beneath glass shelves of booze
Despite a relatively small footprint, the restaurant has a good amount of space between tables, and a couple of spots for parties up to six diners, in compliance with current COVID restrictions
Two cognac-colored curved booths under wine racks. On the wall is a black and white print of the liquor store in the old days
Two swank, curved booths by the front door are perfect for small families or groups of friends
A bartender pours a frothy drink into a lowball glass from a silver tin shaker.
The brief menu includes a select group of cocktails built for spring with light and refreshing flavors balanced by just enough bitterness.
Jes Lahay
A drink with a frothy top is garnished with a yellow pansy. The liquid inside is a pale violet color.
Sidebar is open Wednesdays through Sunday for dinner, with lunch available Friday through Sunday
Jes Lahay
A white plate
Snapper crudo with lovage oil and fennel from chef Randall Prudden
Jes Lahay
A giant silver bowl on the copper bar filled with ice and bottles of wine
Reservations are available through Tock
Jes Lahay

A number of Twin Cities restaurants have resumed dine-in service. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

Sidebar at Surdyk's

303 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55414 Visit Website

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