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Food & Drink

Deli Details, Diner Debuts, and Multiple Mini Golf Courses in the August Restaurant Roundup

We're back with our monthly rundown of food and drink news you can use.

overhead shot of corn, cauliflower bites, and other food items
Some new menu items at the new Eat Street, now open in the ol' Wedge Table space
Instagram: @centro_twincities

Don’t let the late August State Fair news bonanza fool ya—there’s a lot going on in food and drink outside of the Fairgrounds this month, including big-time announcements from big-name chefs and, weirdly, multiple new mini golf-related concepts.

To the list!

Open

Abang Yoli

Some imminent news to start us off: Abang Yoli opens in the old Boludo space at 38th & Nicollet… today! At 11 a.m.! This is the first standalone location for chef Jamie Yoo, whose Korean-fried-chicken-and-more joint got its start at The Market at Malcolm Yards last year. Here’s a little preview of the space via the Abang Yoli Instagram.

Centro Eat Street

Centro’s takeover of the old Wedge Table space is complete, and though it looks a lot like the Northeast original—colorful pink and yellow walls, a big central bar, airy fast-casual vibe—it’s also its own animal. The space is bigger, with several concepts including Everywhen Burger Bar’s smash burgers and Vivir’s all-day cafe/bakery/market housed under one roof. Plus a patio! Lot to like here; take a photo tour courtesy of Eater Twin Cities.

Disco Death Records

Like records? Coffee? Film photography? So do Joel Eckerson, Colin Wilkinson, and Jordan Enger, the trio behind the new Disco Death Records in the Wedge neighborhood. Eckerson and Wilkinson closed their original record shop, Dead Media, during the pandemic, and have returned in a stylish new space with a menu of satanically named drinks and a “speakeasy film lab” courtesy of Basement Lab founder Enger. We’ve got more on their excellent analog triumvirate here.

Nicollet Diner and Roxy’s Cabaret

The Nicollet Diner is now up and running in its new home at 1333 Nicollet Mall, just two blocks down the road from their old address. Like the Nicollet Diner of old, they’re open 24/7/365—unlike the Nicollet Diner of old, the new space will soon get a proprietary drag production in Roxy’s Cabaret. Fun!

Arts + Rec Uptown

The trend of bringing a bunch of stuff together under one roof continues at the new Arts + Rec Uptown, which opened August 5 (just in time for the Uptown Art Fair). They’ve got a rooftop bar and patio and art installations from local and regional artists, with mini golf and a black box theater opening later this fall. All that, and “elevated fair food” like Dorito-crusted cod. Hey, it’s gotta be better than some of the new stuff we ate at the fair last week.

Khue’s Kitchen

Love Quang but live in Northeast? Well you’re in luck—Eric Pham, who worked in his family’s Eat Street favorite as a teen before a Spoon and Stable mentorship—has opened a Vietnamese restaurant of his own at 1517 Central Ave. NE. It’s named for his mom, adorably, according to the website: “She always asked us, ‘Are you hungry?’ For us, food is another form of communication. A medium in which we can show love without speech.”

Vellee Deli

One of the Twin Cities’ best food trucks, which became one of the Minneapolis’s best skyway lunch spots, is now open in a new Northeast location (the ground floor of the NordHaus building at 303 First Ave. NE). Crucially, they’re open for both lunch and dinner: Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

an exterior shot of the loon deli sign at nightCredit: Facebook

Closed or Closing

Revival

It seemed like an interesting choice, in the Minnesota sense, when Nick Rancone and Thomas Boemer opened Revival Smoked Meats just a handful of blocks down Nicollet from the original Revival earlier this year. They’ve since announced they’re closing down the OG and consolidating: “It just made sense to bring it all under one roof,” Rancone said in an Instagram post. “We thought it would work to keep them separate, chicken down there and smoked meats up here, but the neighborhood kept telling us they wished they could have it all together.”

Loon Deli

Say goodbye to a sandwich staple—Loon Deli on Lyndale is closing at the end of the month. The last day is August 31, so you still have time to grab one last greasy and delicious gyros if you hustle! The adjoining smoke shop will remain open, a source told us… perhaps there’s more money in newly legal THC products than in cheap and delicious sandwiches. Racket has more on the closure here.

Wild Greg’s Saloon

Citing COVID restrictions, which ended more than a year ago, and crime, which I guess just isn’t impacting some of the completely booked-up downtown restaurants I’ve been trying to visit this month, Wild Greg’s Saloon bravely closed its doors earlier this month. (Not before boo-hooing all over Fox News.) If Racket had a TV news arm, we would’ve used Wayne’s World’s “Get-a-Load-of-This-Guy” cam, but alas.

Firebox Deli

OK, this one actually is a bummer: Firebox Deli has closed its original north Minneapolis location, opting instead to condense things in one location in St. Paul. “Thank you for the last 8 years!!!” they wrote in a short-but-sweet farewell Facebook post.

a gaudy red carpeted, high ceilinged room with a winding staircase and several mini golf coursesCredit: Puttery
Inside Puttery’s Charlotte, NC location

Just Announced and In The Works

D’s Banh Mi

We’ve got a little more info on what’s coming to the ol’ snack shack at 38th & Longfellow, and it’s all good news. Hilda Tov, who owns and runs Hilda’s Hair Hut a few blocks away, bought the building. The incoming restaurant, D’s Banh Mi, is owned by her sons Dylan, Dyon, and Dustin (the D’s, presumably). Their Vietnamese spot will be open year-round (!), mostly as a takeout destination, but the brothers also have big plans to open a heated patio (!!) in the currently underused outdoor space. We’ve got more info on the new spot here.

Backstory Coffee Roasters

Lots of change for Bootstrap Coffee Roasters. For one, they’ve rebranded as Backstory Coffee Roasters: “We thought the name was something we had really outgrown,” founder Micah Svejda told Racket earlier this month. They’re also opening a new coffee shop, this one located in the ground floor of the newly renovated Duffey building in the North Loop. We’ve got more on the expansion and rebrand here.

Union Hmong Kitchen at Lyn-Lake (kind of)

Southwest Voices has the scoop on what’s really going down in the old Mucci’s space at Lake & Lyndale. After Development Tracker posted that Union Hmong Kitchen was opening a permanent restaurant at the address, they took the opportunity to confirm the report with chef Yia Vang at the State Fair. And as the plan stands now, no permanent location is planned. The space is just being used for auxiliary prep and storage at the moment. But for the love of god, go get your hands on UHK’s State Fair eats.

New life for the old Bachelor Farmer

Seems like just last month we were talking about Daniel del Prado’s seemingly inexhaustible list of new projects: the new Macanda in Wayzata and Bar Rufus in Minneapolis’s Rand Tower, which will soon be joined by Rand siblings Miaou Miaou and Blondette. Well there’s more this month, with the news that del Prado and Ryan Burnet have purchased the Bachelor Farmer building from the Dayton brothers. Mpls. St. Paul Mag has the details—so far, we know it’s “a steakhouse, but with a lot of Argentinian influence.”

New North Loop project from Tim McKee

James Beard Award-winning chef Tim McKee (La Belle Vie, Sea Change, Octo Fishbar), has his eyes set on the North Loop for a new project inspired by the Basque region of Spain. He’s being tight-lipped about the endeavor for now, but has revealed that it’ll be somewhere on First Street and open sometime in 2023. Read more via the Strib.

Alma Provisions

Brasa in Minneapolis is about to get a new next-door neighbor: Alma Provisions. The new shop at 46th & Bryant will sling an abbreviated version of the Alma Cafe menu from a takeout window, Eater Twin Cities reports, and will sell candles, body wash, and the like in the indoor apothecary space.

Puttery

Will influencers get all dolled up to play mini golf? The Puttery, a fancy-lookin’ all-in-one restaurant, bar, and mini golf course chain slated for the ground floor of the 270 Hennepin apartment building, intends to find out. The 20,265 square-foot space will have three themed putting courses, plus several bars and lounge areas. No projected opening date, per a release.

Previously in the Racket Restaurant Roundup…