Restaurant

BACON SOCIAL HOUSE TO OPEN IN MINNEAPOLIS

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Denver’s “Best Brunch and Dinner” is coming to Minneapolis.

Bacon Social House will open a 3,000 square foot restaurant at 700 S 3rd Street on the ground floor of the recently completed Canopy by Hilton hotel. The restaurant currently has one location in Denver and in 2019 is set to open two other locations in addition to the Minneapolis location, both of which will be in Colorado.

The eatery and bar has been given numerous awards and in 2018 was given “Westword’s Best of Denver” award along with Trip Advisor’s “Certificate of Excellence” and OpenTable’s “Diner’s Choice Award.”

 The menus consist of food that is prepared from scratch every day and made with local and organic ingredients whenever possible. The Brunch menu features pretty much everything one could wish for including eggs benedict, biscuits and gravy, chicken & waffles and more. The dinner menu is also pretty great featuring items like shrimp n grits, burgers, Cuban sandwiches and buffalo cauliflower just to name a few.

Last but not least, Bacon Social House has two extensive drink menus for both brunch and dinner. Those menus are filled with a number of different cocktails, beer, margaritas and even mimosas that you can order by the “super carafe.”

Oh yeah, and we forgot to mention that you’ll be seeing a lot of bacon entrees scattered about the menu too. Let’s be honest, the place does have bacon in its name after all.

Bacon Social House is expected to open in May at 700 S 3rd Street.

 

FIRST DRAFT TAPROOM + KITCHEN PLANS JULY OPENING

The interior of First Draft Taproom + Kitchen in Minneapolis | Image: First Draft | Mural by Amy Marie Art

The time has come, Minneapolites...the time of self-serve taps.

First Draft Taproom + Kitchen is nearly ready to open for business. The unique concept that gives customers "the power to pour their own beer, wine or cider" is opening their first Minnesota location on the ground floor of Variant, a brand new residential building in the North Loop just blocks from Target Field.

The opening date? This Saturday, July 14th.

OVER 5O TAPS

First Draft, which bills itself as a unique tasting experience, will be one of the first self pour taprooms to open within the city.

You'll find a HUGE variety of craft beer, wine, cider, kombucha, coffee, and cocktails. When we say huge, we're talking nearly 54 taps in total. One great thing is that these taps are always rotating, ensuring every visit is different from the last and that you'll be able to experience brews from Minnesota all the way to the Coasts.

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One of the best things about First Draft is that you can pour by the ounce, meaning no more wasted beer that you thought you'd like but can't drink more than one sip of. Fun fact? On average customers pour about 4.9 ounces of a beverage.

All that beer tasting might make it a wise choice to eat some food, but don't worry, they've got that too. A full kitchen within the space will serve small plates and some larger dishes for sharing. Dishes include everything from cheese plates and deviled eggs, to Mac and Cheese and Caesar Salad. 

THE SPACE

The first thing you might notice when walking into First Draft might not be the taps, but rather a large mural depicting Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in front of the Minneapolis skyline. A little nod to Minnesota, eh?

Once you've unlocked your eyes from the mural you'll notice that directly in front of you are the 54 self serve taps, all perfectly laid out on the outside of a large cooler the size of a room (we're not kidding). It is pretty centralized, you can't miss it.

The ceilings within the space have been left open and long liner lighting has been added. Seating throughout the space comes in a variety of styles from long community tables, to bar seating, to luxurious couches for lounging. In addition, there will also be outdoor patio seating available.

ABOUT FIRST DRAFT

Originally from Denver, CO, First Draft Taproom + Kitchen is currently in the process of opening two new location, one in Downtown LA and the other right here in Minneapolis. The company is capitalizing on a new to market trend of self serve taps, something that is sweeping the nation by storm. 

Locations typically feature 50+ taps and serve beer, wine, cider, coffee, cocktails along with food. For more information, visit First Draft Taproom + Kitchen here.

 

800 WASHINGTON AVE S PROPOSALS REVEALED

Sherman's most recent proposal for a mixed-use project at 800 Washington Avenue S.

Round two. Here we go.

The City of Minneapolis issued a RFP (request for proposals) for a 0.56 acre site located at 800 Washington Avenue S back in April, today the proposals were revealed.

Before we start explaining the proposals let us tell you that it wasn't the first time the city was seeking development proposals for the site.

Mortenson's original proposal

Mortenson's original proposal

In 2015 the city also submitted a RFP for 800 Washington Avenue S and it received a number of proposals for the site. In the end the city chose a 10 story proposal from Mortenson that would have included a 235 room Hyatt Centric hotel along with 15,000 square feet of office space for the adjacent American Academy of Neurology (AAN) to expand into. However, those plans never came to fruition and shortly after Mortenson was chosen the company walked away from the site.

That brings us to today, a day in which the city of Minneapolis reveals the four proposals it received during round two, one of those proposals being from one of the original developers seeking to build on the site. Let's start with that proposal.

SHERMAN ASSOCIATES (MIXED USE PROJECT)

Sherman's 2015 proposal.

In 2015 Sherman Associates submitted a proposal for a 9 story mixed-use building with a 140 room Kimpton Hotel, 15,700 sqf of office space on the third floor for Sherman Associates new headquarters, and a 25,000 sqf Pinstripes bowling alley on the first and second floor. 

Sherman's 2018 proposal.

The proposal submitted the second time around looks somewhat similar on paper, however a shift from hotel rooms to apartments has occurred while the exterior design has also been updated.

This time around Sherman Associate's proposal is for a 10 story mixed-use building. The first and second floor would still include a Pinstripes bowling alley, the third story would still be home to office space, this time around space for the AAN, and the remaining floors above would instead be devoted to 112 apartments. 20 percent of the housing units proposed would be affordable units for those making less than 60% of the area's median income.

The estimated cost for the project would be around $54 million.

AECOM (MIXED-USE PROJECT)

AECOM, a developer based out of LA, has proposed a mixed-use project that would be eight stories tall. Little was given on the details of the project, however the building would house 76 for sale condo units along with office space for AAN on the lower floors.

More information should be available in the coming weeks about this proposal.

OPPIDIAN INVESTMENT COMPANY (COMMERCIAL PROJECT)

Based out of Excelsior, MN, Oppidian Investment Company has pitched a six to eight story building that would be entirely commercial. The goal would be to attract a large office tenant that would lease a majority of the space within the project.

Developers state the the building would be perfect for a company who is "image conscious" and a company that "values a human-scale building — not one for 20 tenants in a 250,000-square-foot building." 

Overall the Oppidian's proposal is expected to cost somewhere between $40-$60 million.

Oppidian is also currently developing The Capp, a mixed-use project under construction off of Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis. That project made the headlines earlier this year as it will be home to Cub Foods first ever small-format store. In addition to the 46,000 square foot grocery store, there will also be 3,100 sqf of additional retail space, 148 apartment units located on five of the upper levels of the project, and a public plaza.

45 NORTH GROUP (COMMERCIAL PROJECT)

A local startup firm based out of St. Louis Park is proposing a five story, 72,000 square foot building with ground floor retail space and offices on the upper floors.

45 North Group has stated that the building would be energy efficient, even qualifying as "net zero," meaning that the project would generate as much energy as it uses. This would be achievable due to an expansive set of solar panels planned for the top of the building.

No overall price for the project was given.

We'll have more information for the proposals mentioned above in the coming weeks.


 

FAIRGROUNDS COFFEE AND TEA LEASES SPACE FOR NORTH LOOP LOCATION

A new coffeehouse is coming to the North Loop, with love sent by Chicago.

Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea will open a new 2,420 square foot location at 120 3rd Avenue N in a historic building that is currently undergoing a complete renovation. This will be Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea first (or second) location outside of Chicago, they currently have two locations within Chicago. Another location is also under construction in Los Angeles.

Now, Fairgrounds is not just another coffeehouse. 

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What makes Fairgrounds different than other coffee houses is that they serve products from multiple coffeehouses and breweries. Most coffeehouses stick to a single brew, typically their own.

What Fairgrounds is classified as in the coffee world is a "brewery agnostic". This means they serve brews from a number of different breweries and coffeehouses, and not just any coffeehouses, but the nations BEST coffeehouses. We're proud to say that Minneapolis' very own Spyhouse is on their list.

The new cafe will service hot and cold brews along with espresso, matcha, tea, and a unique list of elixers (fancy coffee beverages). There will also be a food menu including breakfast items, sandwiches, soups, salads, and more.

Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea is expected to open in Summer 2018 at 120 3rd Avenue N.

 

NEW TAPROOM CONCEPT TO OPEN IN NORTH LOOP

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The North Loop just keeps getting cooler and better by the day. 

Not only is it a collection of historic buildings, mixed with new buildings that seem to be rising on each corner. The neighborhood is home to tons of great shops, restaurants, bars, and breweries and this spring a new taproom is coming to the neighborhood that will be the first of it's kind in Minnesota.

First Draft Taproom and Kitchen will open in April at Variant, a new 6 story residential building at the corner of 6th Avenue N and 4th Street N not far from Target Field. The new bar and kitchen will take up 4,500 square feet of corner retail space on the ground floor of the building, leaving about 10,000 square feet of additional retail and restaurant space.

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What sets First Draft apart from other taprooms, and let's be honest, they're going to have some competition as the area is home to a number, is that fact that it is self-serve. Now, it's not just a free for all so don't get too excited, here's how it works.

When customers enter First Draft they will receive a card, at the back of the space will be 40-50 taps serving craft beer, wine, cider, coffee and kombucha. Customers tap their card on their desired beverage and then are able to dispense as much as they like of it, as small as an ounce and as large as a full glass. It's a great way to taste test and discover something new... or maybe figure out what you don't like before you order a whole glass of it.

If this sounds daunting, don't worry, there will be designated employees to help you work the system (which will be the coveted iPour self-dispensing system) or to give you recommendations. In addition, there will be a menu with small places, sandwiches, salads, and more.

First Draft Taproom and Kitchen will open in April 2018 at 324 6th Avenue N.

Development proposals emerge for 205 Park Avenue

Proposal designed by ESG Architects on behalf of Sherman Associates  |  Sherman Associates

Proposal designed by ESG Architects on behalf of Sherman AssociatesSherman Associates

Another one bites the dust...and we're talking about surface parking lots.

One of the last remaining pieces of land in the Mill District will soon have a new building rise upon it's soil. Two developers have have submitted plans to the City of Minneapolis for mixed-use developments on what is currently a surface parking lot at 205 Park Avenue.

THE FIRST PROPOSAL

Sherman Associates has submitted plans for mixed-use development designed by Minneapolis based ESG Architects.

Estimated to cost $36 million, the six story building would include 115 market rate apartments with 20% being reserved for individuals making 60 percent or less than the median income along with four for-sale townhome units. 

The ground floor would include a restaurant with a separate bakery and coffee shop by local restaurant owner Kim Bartmann. The building would also include a police substation and a dog park. Running behind the building would be a pedestrian walkway connecting Washington Avenue and 2nd Street.

THE SECOND PROPOSAL

The city has also received another proposal from Grand Real Estate Advisors. Their proposal is also a six story mixed-use building that would include residential units. The difference is in the type of residential units. GREA is proposing 48-52 condo units that would be priced between $350,000 and $1.3 million. 

The development would include a 3,000 square foot space for a restaurant and bakery on the first floor. Like the Sherman Associates proposal, a dog park would be included on site.

One of the major differences between the two projects is the affordable housing aspect which was one of the main requests from the city. Sherman Associates proposal would include affordable housing on site while GREA is currently in discussions with City of Lakes Community Land Trust on a way to include affordable units elsewhere in the city.

The city of Minneapolis will select a proposal and authorize a land sale at the end of the summer.

 

MOXY Hotel proposal loses some height

Rendering of the new Graves Hospitality proposal | Collage Architects

Plans for a hotel in the Uptown neighborhood recently were changed due to neighborhood opposition.

We wrote a few weeks ago about a new hotel proposed for the Uptown neighborhood. The developer, Graves Hospitality, planned to bring a 9 story hotel with 144 rooms to a busy intersection. The hotel was to be under the MOXY brand, a new hotel chain aimed at millennials developed by Marriott (to learn more about the hotel read our previous post here).

This week the developers came back to the city with new plans for a shorter hotel on the corner of Lake and Emerson. Scaled down by three stories, the proposed hotel now stands at 6 stories at the front and five stories or 58 feet at the back. With the reduction in height came a reduction in number of hotel rooms down from 140 to 123.

As far as the rest of the details for the project they've remained the same. A restaurant is still planned for the ground floor and the hotel is still expected to fall under the Moxy brand, making it one of the first in the country.

We'll have more information regarding this project once it heads to the Minneapolis Planning Commission meeting on February 8th.

 

40 story condo tower planned for NorthEast

Rendering of the ground floor of the new tower | ESG Architects

On the shores of the Mississippi River, well, almost on the shores of the Mississippi, a new 40 story residential building will begin to rise come this fall. 

Developer Bob Lux, found of Alatus, confirmed Tuesday that after months of speculations of what his new project at the former Washburn McReavy site would include that it will in fact house condos. 

Located at 200 Central Avenue, the 40 story tall project (essentially the height of The Carlyle across the bridge) will include 207 new condominium units. The ground floor will feature building amenities along with a new restaurant by Ryan Burnet.  

Image of the exterior of the tower | ESG Architects

Construction on the project will begin in the fall with completion expected in late fall 2017 or early 2018. Prices for units in the building will begin at $300,000 and go up to several million dollars for top floor units (which we might add have the ability to have outdoor swimming pools). Sotheby's is handeling the selling of the units which will be offered in both a modern and traditional style. The big draw will be the floor to ceiling windows with gorgeous view of Downtown Minneapolis. 

A certain number of pre-sold units will not be required for construction to begin. It's a sign that developers believe the market for condominium units is strong.  

And there's a lot of truth to that thought. Lux's development will only be the third condo development since the recession in 2008.  Recently a few other proposals have been put forth such as a new condo development in Uptown by Graves Hospitality and also Jim Stanton's The Portland Tower in Downtown Minneapolis.

Mayo Clinic Square lands new restaurant

Mayo Clinic Square will officially be bringing retail and restaurants back to the Hennepin Avenue street level of their newly renovated building/block next year. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal officially broke news on the topic this past week.

Old Town Pour House (don't confuse it with The Pourhouse nightclub a few blocks down), a Chicago based tavern, will occupy the corner of Seventh Street and Hennepin when it opens in Spring 2016. The corner previously was home to Gameworks and is kiddie corner to Le Chambers hotel and Marin restaurant. 

The restaurant is well known due to the their offerings. We're talking about 90 choices of beer alone (yes, you did read that correctly). Literally if you can dream of a beer they mostly like have it. The food menu features a wide variety of American cuisine such as burgers and wraps, salads, and other bar foods. Prices start around $14.00 for an entree and go up to $22.00.

There still will be plenty of retail space left on the first and second floor of Mayo Clinic Square. Provident Real Estate is looking to find more destination restaurants to fill some of the remaining space along with other exciting retailers.

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Apartments planned for Uptown site

More housing is on the drawing boards for Uptown.

The site of Cheapo Records is scheduled to be purchased by CPM Cos. in the fall in order to make way for a six story residential building that would feature apartments along with retail and office space.

20,000 square feet of retail space is planned for the ground floor (likely to house a restaurant among other retail tenants) and 5,000 square feet of office space is planned for the second level. At the moment the exact number of apartment units planned for the project has yet to be disclosed. 

And for all those who love Cheapo there is no need to worry about them disappearing. Currently they're currently looking for a new location within the neighborhood to move to once their lease expires in August. 

ESG Architects

ESG Architects

Above: Cheapo's Uptown location. The Walkway luxury apartments are located directly behind the site.

The project would be directly next to The Walkway, a 92 unit luxury (and when we say luxury we mean LUXURY) apartment building that opened last year. It also would be blocks away from the new condominium project announced last week by Graves Hospitality.

ESG Architects is behind the design of the project. It features what appears to be a gold, grey, and white color scheme. At the each corner there are seven story "end caps" that feature large balconies. It appears that almost all the units in the building would have a balcony.

If all goes according to plan CPM hopes to close on the site in the fall and have construction underway by February 2016.

 

800 Washington Avenue draws proposals from three developers

The proposals are in... meaning it is time to report.

The city of Minneapolis has officially closed the option for developers to submit their plans for the development of 800 Washington Avenue. The site is owned by the city of Minneapolis and sits directly next to The American Academy of Neurology and the Aloft Hotel. Three developers stepped forward with each submitting plans for a hotel development. 

We would love you input on what design you think is the best being this is a competition afterall. At the bottom of this article is a poll in which you can submit your input.


MORTENSON CONSTRUCTION

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Mortenson Construction has submitted plans for a nine story structure that would feature a 188-room Hyatt Centric hotel.

The building would include a restaurant on the ground floor along with additional retail space, hotel rooms on floors two through eight, and what appears to be banquet space / office space on the ninth level. The building would also have outdoor patio space on multiple levels.

Within the project there will be about 15,000 square feet of office space that would be used by the The American Academy of Neurology. Currently the professional society has their 63,000 square foot, $20 million (absolutely stunning) headquarters next door which opened in 2012. There is another option for an an additional 15,000 square feet of office or banquet space within the building that the The American Academy of Neurology would be able use if the need arises.

ESG Architects is the designer behind the Mortenson Construction development. They currently are probably one of the most prominent architectural firms within Minneapolis area regarding new construction projects. We guarantee you probably driven past at least two of their projects within the last day.

The restaurant component would be spearhead by a Dallas company called Culinare. They're no strangers to the area, let alone the neighborhood, as they are responsible for Sea Change, the restaurant at the neighboring Guthrie Theater. Shea Inc would be responsible for the design of the restaurant.

Marcus Hotels and Resorts would operate the Hyatt Centric hotel. The brand has yet to enter the Minnesota market as it is less than a year old. The company recently opened two locations in April, one in The Loop in Chicago and also one in South Beach Miami. 15 additional locations will open this summer in cities such as New York, Paris, and Atlanta.

Hyatt Centric was created in order to appeal to the Modern Explorers of the world and is meant to be truly be more than just a hotel. "At Hyatt Centric, you'll find everything that you you need as you prepare for a business meeting, take in the local sites, or take advantage of a last-minute long weekend" their website says.

Visit their website here in order to learn more about this exciting hotel concept.


SHERMAN ASSOCIATES

As we discussed earlier in the week Sherman Associates is also proposing a nine story hotel that would feature 140 rooms. While Sherman Associates has yet to divuldge full details regarding the project it can be seen from their latest rendering that the project would take on a very modern design approach.

A 25,000 square foot, two level, Pinstripes is proposed for the building and would be located on the ground and second floor. Pinstripes is a entertainment venue that features a bistro with Italian/American food, a bowling alley, bocce ball, and of course a bar. 

Kimpton Hotels is the hospitality partner that Sherman Associates is working with for the project. Currently there is only a single Kimpton Hotel in the state and that is The Grand Hotel on Second Street in Downtown Minneapolis. Years back a Kimpton Hotel was floated for the Mall of America however we all know that that project ended up being the Radisson Blu.

Kimpton Hotels was established back in 1981 by Bill Kimpton. Today it is the largest chain of boutique hotels in the United States. While many of the company's hotel are independently branded there are also two "branded" chain hotels called the Hotel Monaco and the Hotel Palomar. If one were to appear within Sherman Associates development is most likely would be the Hotel Monaco brand.

Most Kimpton Hotels are branded individually meaning it is not simply called a "Kimpton". Details on what type of hotel or what the potential name could be likely would not be established until the city of Minneapolis recommends a project to move forward in late Summer.

Within Sherman Associate's development there also is around 20,000 square feet of space for them to move their company headquarters from across the street at the Old Spaghetti Factory building.

Sherman Associates also will begin work soon on their Thresher Square restoration which will be converted into a new hotel. Sherman Associates will also construction a new seven story mixed use building with 175 apartments and 30,000 square feet of retail (which is rumored to include a Trader Joe's).


SATURDAY PROPERTIES LLC

Brent Rogers and his company Saturday Properties LLC is proposing another hotel in a six story building. The hotel would feature 166 rooms and would be branded as an Element by Westin. 10,500 square feet of retail space would be located on the first floor with at least one restaurant located within that space.

Designed by BKV Group, another architecture firm that Minneapolis can pride themselves on, the building features a very modern design that reminds us of the new residential project proposed over on 10th and Marquette.

The overall project would not stick out as much as the other projects proposed as the height of the building would be comparable to The American Academy of Neurology and the Aloft Hotel located on each side.

Element by Westin was launched in 2006 by Starwood Hotels and Resorts is a styled as an extended stay hotel. The brand is is the first hotel of the Starwood Brand that is intended to be environmentally friendly. This means that the hotels are built eco-friendly from the ground up including many recycled materials along with using energy efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures. 

Above: Elements by Westin standard suite (Elements by Westin)

 

Hyatt Centric part of next proposal for 800 Washington Avenue South site

A soon as we posted our article about Sherman Associates proposal for a nine story hotel at 800 Washington Avenue another proposal was announced by Finance and Commerce. Mortenson Construction is behind the next project proposed for the vacant site.

The second proposal for the site includes another 9 story hotel that would be branded as a Hyatt Centric. The hotel is a new concept from the Hyatt brand aimed at the millennial generation along with the business travelers who truly want to experience the city in which they are staying.

If you want to know more about the brand visit their website here. We're serious when we say ALL the details are there. There's even a lengthy video explaining just what sets Hyatt Centric apart from the rest.

The proposal put forth by Mortenson Construction is for a building that would house 188 hotel rooms, banquet space, and also a local restaurant on the first floor along with additional retail space. Designed by ESG Architects along with Shea Design the structure is very modern and compliments the neighboring structures very well.

Minneapolis will select a proposal in late August or September according to Finance and Commerce. Construction could begin in Spring of 2016.

It is expected that the rest of the proposals for the site will be released later today or early tomorrow by the City of Minneapolis. We'll have more information on the projects as soon as, well, we can get our hands on it. Until then, go enjoy the nice weather outside.

Above: Rendering of the proposed project (ESG Architects)

9 story building a possibility for Downtown site

There's been a prime vacant site sitting on Washington Avenue that will soon see a new development rise... The question is what developer will exactly get to develop the site.

 The City of Minneapolis a few months ago put out a call for development proposals for the site that sits at 800 Washington Avenue South near the Guthrie Theater. It's located directly next to the ALoft Hotel and the new(ish) American Academy for Neurology.

Proposals were due yesterday at 4:00pm however one proposal already has made the headlines.

Above: Pinstripes location in Edina  (Pinstripes)

Above: Pinstripes location in Edina (Pinstripes)

The Journal broke the news a few days ago that Sherman Associates is planning a new hotel development on site. Since then multiple news sources have spoke about the development, none stating the plans put fourth by other developers.

Sherman Associate's plans include a 9 story building with 140 rooms along with a Pinstripes on the first two floors of the building. 

Pinstripes is a venue that features a bistro with Italian/American cuisine along with a bowling alley, bocce ball courts, and often an out door patio and fire pit. Currently the company has a one Minnesota location in Edina. Pinstripes currently has seven locations altogether, that includes a recently opened location in Downtown Chicago, and has plans for an additional five more locations in the next two years.

What hotel concept would call the building home is yet to be announced. We'll have more information on this project along with the other development proposals for the site by early next week.

 

Lakes & Legends Brewing Co. coming to Loring Park

One of Minneapolis' newest and most prominent skyscrapers is about to get something extra special on their main floor. LPM Apartments will welcome the addition of Lakes and Legends Brewing Company to the first floor of the $118 million 36 story residential building. 

Lakes and Legends will occupy roughly 12,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor of the building leaving about 8,000 square feet of space of additional commercial space remaining. The space will feature a 3,500 to 4,000 square foot taproom along with a sixth floor dining patio. The maximum capaciaty of the space will be around 200-250 people depending on the set up.

A taproom will only take up a third of the space being occupied by Lakes and Legends as the rest, roughly 8,000 square feet of space, will be devoted to a production facility that will have the ability to produce between 2,000 to 3,000 barrels in the first year alone. There's room for future growth regarding production abilities once Lakes and Legends is established and settled into their new home.

Now what exactly will that taproom feature? The focus will be on "belgian and farmhouse ales" their website states. The taproom will also have limited released beers available using ingredients that "bring to life the seasons of The North".Wilkus Architects of Hopkins will be responsible for the space. Expect it to feature a somewhat rustic feel with a spotlight on woods.

Lakes and Legends is expected to open in late summer.

 



Calhoun Square lands new restaurant Parella

A prime corner of Calhoun Square is finally about to get a new bustling restaurant after years of being vacant. Parella, an italian restaurant, will open in the former Filgio space on the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street in early July.

Michael Larson, the owner of the successful Digby's restaurant at Rosedale Center in Roseville, is behind Parella. Larson has also managed to get all-star chef Todd Macdonald to join the team as head chef. Macdonald recently moved back to Minneapolis from New York City after begin an italian chef for the last 10 years there and working at well known restaurants such as Cru and Bouley.

Inspired by a small town in Piedmont, Italy, Parella will feature rustic italian food offerings cooked many of which will be cooked in the wood-fired pizza oven left over by Figlio or the new wood burning oven that Parella will install. Entrees will be mid-priced and feature dishes such as Jerusalem artichokes, chicken, and occasional specialty offerings such a unique steaks or roast suckling pig. 

Parella will of course feature an array of pasta dishes that chef Macdonald is well-known for. There's even another unique feature that the restaurant will include; a crudo bar. Think italian sushi. It will be the second crudo bar in the city of Minneapolis after the first opens in early summer at Monello. 

It appears that Minneapolis is becoming a haven for Italian food lovers. Monello will open in early summer at the Hotel Ivy in Downtown as part of a repositioning of the former Porter and Frye space. Il Foro will open in the former Forum downtown in late spring or early summer and will feature dishes by the star chef Jack Riebel. If italian food craving hearts weren't already weeping with joy we can now also have Parella to look forward to. What can we say, Minnesotan's love some good Italian cuisine.  

One last thing that we are certain will make this restaurant a great success is the fact that Parella plans to be open until bar-close seven nights a week. Finally, a place where we can get our late night italian cravings fulfilled. 

Parello plans to open by early July at 3001 Hennepin Avenue South in Calhoun Square.