We wailed and gnashed our teeth earlier this year upon hearing the news that this season would be Sandcastle's last on Lake Nokomis. Doug Flicker and Amy Greeley signed a 10-year lease with the city for their beachside hotdog/sandwich/taco hut, and those 10 years were up.
Now, after a months-long selection process, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has announced that the next tenant for the Lake Nokomis concessions building will be The Painted Turtle, serving "spins on Minnesota cuisine" and "scratch-made American classics," per a Monday press release. They've signed a five-year lease for the Main Beach snack shack (4955 W. Lake Nokomis Pkwy.).
The folks behind The Painted Turtle are also behind Unleashed Hounds and Hops, the indoor/outdoor dog park/human restaurant that opened in Minneapolis in 2020. They'll have a full ice cream shop on Nokomis thanks to a partnership with La La Ice Cream, and Kramarczuk's Sausage Company is also name dropped as an early partner.
That's about all we know about The Painted Turtle, the concessions stand, so far. Here are some facts about painted turtles, the friendly species of shell-dweller, I learned from Wikipedia:
- Painted turtles are the most widespread native turtle in North America, living in fresh water from Atlantic to Pacific coast and from Canada to Mexico
- They're the official reptile of Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, and Vermont
- Fossils show that painted turtles have been around for 15 million years
- In the wild, they can live to be more than 55
I actually had a pet painted turtle for many years. His name was RaveCat and he was a pretty cool guy. Now he lives in Florida with some old friends and goes by a new name... Franklin, I think?
Look for a late spring or early summer opening for The Painted Turtle, and keep an eye on its website/Instagram for updates.