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Smorgie鈥檚, Bina鈥檚, B没cheron鈥擫ots of Fun Names in the January Racket Restaurant Roundup

Ono, Dario... the list goes on.

11:41 AM CST on January 31, 2024

Instagram: @dariompls, @parcelleorganics|

Left: Inside the North Loop鈥檚 adorable new Dario. Right: A smoothie from clean-eating cafe Parcelle.

Hear me out: The high today is like, 50 degrees... you could go sit on a patio somewhere. I'm just saying!

On to the latest Racket Restaurant Roundup:

Now Open


A French-American restaurant from a group of Gavin Kaysen alums, B没cheron is now up and running in the old Revival space (4257 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis). The name means 鈥渓umberjack鈥 in French, but don鈥檛 come stumbling in outta the woods鈥攔eservations are recommended, though they do take walk-ins at the bar.聽


This 鈥淚talian restaurant with global influences鈥 is now serving up handmade pastas and lots of veggies in the North Loop (323 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis). Dario comes from longtime local chef Joe Rolle and bev director Stephen Rowe, and it just looks so cute and cozy in there, with all that pink and blue.聽

Ono Hawaiian Plates #2

As I simply could not help myself from writing after a visit earlier this month鈥 more like Oh Yes, Hawaiian Plates! Ono鈥檚 second location, situated inside United Noodles (2015 E. 24th St., Minneapolis), has all the best stuff from their North Loop food hall spot, plus lots more. Can鈥檛 say enough good stuff about the kalua pork.聽


Situated steps from Xcel Energy Center, Smorgie鈥檚 (150 N. Smith Ave., St. Paul) The name? It鈥檚 because they serve a smorgasbord of comfort food and cocktails, from pickle fries to a smashburger to chicken pot pie. You know what? I like it!


Parcelle, the 鈥渙rganic clean eating cafe鈥 from StepCHLD chef/owner Kamal Mohamed, has high standards: wild-caught fish, 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised proteins, no GMOs, no artificial ingredients or dyes. But the prices鈥 are not outta control! Will be grabbing lunch here (233 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis) soon.聽


If you鈥檙e wondering how divey Centro Northeast鈥檚 new adjacent 鈥渄ive bar鈥 is, well, owner Jami Olson already told MSP Mag she regrets that choice of words. But the spot (1404 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis) does look like fun, with a pool table and darts and a literal bar rescue, courtesy of Bauer Brothers salvage.

Malcolm Yards Newbies

The newest vendors at the Market at Malcolm Yards, Revival Smoked Meats and Mr. Paul's Po' Boys and Jams, both opened their metaphorical doors this month. TMAMY continues to be the food hall to beat!

You have a few months left to say farewell to Tavern on Grand.Facebook: Tavern on Grand


Arepa Bar

Soleil Ramirez鈥檚 Arepa Bar has left Midtown Global Market, an announcement the chef made 鈥渨ith a heavy heart鈥 earlier this month. 鈥淲e don鈥檛 feel safe anymore at the market,鈥 she added, which is a shame鈥攈owever, we must add that Trung Pham of Pham鈥檚 Rice Bowl, which has been at MGM for 17 years, told Twin Cities Business, 鈥淚鈥檝e been here 17 years, if I didn鈥檛 feel safe here, I would not be here.鈥 Arepa Bar will transition to a catering business in partnership with her other restaurant, Crasqui, beginning in March.聽

Tavern on Grand

After 35 years, St. Paul's Tavern on Grand has announced it will close its doors in June. Someone better buy that giant neon walleye!! The Summit Hill staple is the latest casualty in a series of Grand Avenue closures that have people stressed about the business district鈥檚 future, following the exits of Salut, Pottery Barn, Lululemon, J. Crew, and Anthropologie all within the last year-ish.聽

First Draft

Two months after announcing a rebrand, self-serve taproom First Draft has closed, citing the "shifting landscape in Minneapolis" in a conversation with Bring Me the News. The beer wall thing鈥 does not seem super future-proof, as a concept, but I did have a very, very good chicken sandwich here once.聽

Doesn't this look just delightful? Instagram: @giampls

Just Announced and Coming Soon


Mark those calendars: A February 6 opening is expected for Gia, the new neighborhood Italian restaurant from chefs Jo Seddon and Lisa Wengler (5555 Xerxes Ave. S., Minneapolis).

A Bar of Their Own

And over in the old Tracy鈥檚 Saloon space (2207 Franklin Ave. E., Minneapolis), A Bar of Their Own has a March 1 opening set. All women鈥檚 sports, all the time!

Crossing Bridge Noodle

Construction is underway at the old Bad Waitress building on Eat Street (2 E. 26th St., Minneapolis), where Sushi Train co-owner Kevin Ni will soon open Crossing Bridge Noodle, according to Southwest Voices. Their specialty? Crossing-the-bridge noodles, a pho-like dish made with whole chicken broth as the base.


RIP to the skyway Taco John鈥檚, but EggFlip, which will serve Korean-style egg sandwiches and breakfast bowls, according to Downtown Voices, sounds really good. Follow EggFlip鈥檚 Instagram for updates.


No, not the tear-jerking, critically acclaimed film about the struggle for the American dream鈥this Minari comes from Daniel del Prado student Jeff Watson, per the Star Tribune. It鈥檒l open in the old Ert茅 & the Peacock Lounge space (323 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis), with a focus on Korean food, this summer.聽

TokiDoki Burger

Looks like the Ramen Kazama team is expanding into the burger biz鈥攖here鈥檚 a hearing in February to grant a wine and beer license for a new spot called TokiDoki Burger from Kazama LLC. The address is 3406 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, the new space next-door to the ramen shop.聽

Chimborazo St. Paul

Oh, good people of St. Paul, I鈥檓 so happy for you! Just this morning, I saw a tweet that the amazing Chimborazo is expanding into the old Rusty Taco at 508 Lexington Pkwy. S. You deserve this!!

In The Works

As previously reported in the Racket Restaurant Roundup...

Zamboni鈥檚 on 7th

Absolutely love this name for a bar! No notes! Zamboni鈥檚 is headed for the former Eagle Street Grille space (350 N. Market St., St. Paul) by Xcel Energy Center,聽the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports, and was slated to open by mid-November; it appears that's been delayed.聽

C脿phin Minneapolis

C脿phin, the farmers market hit billed as Minneapolis鈥檚 first Vietnamese coffee truck, will soon have a permanent home in the former Jinx Tea space in Linden Hills (4503 France Ave. S.). The Business Journal聽reports that聽it鈥檒l have pastries from local bakeries鈥攁nd soon, banh-nini, which is like a banh mi panini. Look for it to open before the Lunar New Year in February.聽

Highland Popcorn

Popcorn with a purpose? That鈥檚 something we can get behind. The St. Paul pop shop comes from Conor O鈥橫eara, who has autism, and his dad, Shamus; it will employ and empower other folks with autism by offering them meaningful employment at 2138 Ford Parkway. "Our experience from a family perspective鈥 is that some of the opportunities that you and I have out there in our communities just simply aren't there or are really hard to find,"聽Shamus told Racket last month.


A jazz-inspired club and full-service restaurant called Berlin is coming for the North Loop early this year,聽Bring Me the News reports. (As far as I can tell, there鈥檚 no relation to Berlin in Chicago, the iconic gay bar聽that closed last month聽after labor disputes.) Minneapolis鈥檚 Berlin is heading for the former Askov Finlayson shop at 200 N. 1st St.

Andiamo Italian

Buongiorno, Andiamo! The Italian ristorante will open later this month at 80 N. Snelling Ave. in St. Paul,聽according to an Instagram post last month. It joins an existing Andiamo in Eagan.聽

Klassics Kitchen + Cocktails聽

It鈥檚 not just C.R.E.A.M. Cafe鈥攖he Klasses have announced that they鈥檒l open an evening eatery in the adjacent space at 428 S. Second St. in Minneapolis later this year.聽

Sunbean Coffee

In August,聽we told you about Sunbean Coffee, which will soon light up a long-vacant storefront near Bull鈥檚 Horn (4553 34th Ave. S.) in south Minneapolis (literally, with sad lamps in addition to caffeine). They got the keys last month,聽according to an Instagram post, and are now selling merch and coffee on their聽website.

Brew Lab 101

New Mexico-based brewery Brew Lab 101 Beer Co. is heading for the North Loop, according to聽this Business Journal scoop. It鈥檒l open in the space that had been Clockwerks Brewing, which closed at 25 N. 4th St. back in 2021. The kitchen, Fusion 505, will be Minnesota by way of New Mexico鈥攏ot unlike owner Johnathan Welch, who moved to Minnesota from New Mexico a few years ago. Think hotdish and Heggies with green chilis for heat.聽

The Brothers Eatery

Southwest Voices reports聽that an all-day breakfast joint called The Brothers Eatery is heading soon for the former Vo鈥檚 Vietnamese in south Minneapolis. They鈥檙e already cooking, based on a recent cruise by 3450 Lyndale Ave. S., so head there now for benedicts and omelets, plus diner classics like BLTs.

Walkin鈥 Dog

Downtown Minneapolis skyway staple Walkin鈥 Dog is (kinda) coming back! Northstar Center聽shared the news on LinkedIn聽(LinkedIn!), saying you鈥檒l soon be able to 鈥渆njoy dogs, malts, sides and camaraderie in an updated version of this Minneapolis classic that honors Dave & Cindy Magnuson鈥檚 legacy.鈥澛

Dave's Hot Chicken

The Dairy Queen on Ford Parkway in St. Paul鈥the absolute bottom of the barrel in Racket鈥檚 DQ ranking鈥攈as closed. The location will soon instead house Dave's Hot Chicken,聽according to the Pioneer Press. (This is the chicken chain franchised by the Kris Humphries family, and this location is one of 16 planned for Minnesota.) Look for an early 2024 opening.聽

Nico鈥檚 Tacos + Agave Bar

South Minneapolis's Tinto Kitchen closed last year to make way for Nico鈥檚 Tacos at 4959 Penn Ave S. And the Tinto team is staying on at Nico鈥檚鈥攁 real win win win, there.聽

NY Gyro

The corner address on Lyn-Lake that was very briefly Chicago鈥檚 Very Own will soon reopen as yet another restaurant named for out-of-state fare: New York Gyro is moving in. The location opposite Wrecktangle Pizza (2944 Lyndale Ave. S.) will be their seventh in Minnesota,聽Bring Me the News reports.

Jade Dynasty Restaurant and Bar

Not far from the forthcoming NY Gyro, there鈥檚 finally good news for the old Fuji Ya space at 600 W. Lake St. Southwest Voices聽reports that聽a new hot pot and dim sum spot called Jade Dynasty Restaurant and Bar is planned to open there sometime this winter. The restaurant comes from Chuen Sai 鈥淧aul鈥 Wu and Eric Zeng, and will specialize in Cantonese dishes and authentic Asian cuisine.聽

Keefer Court

Just great news all around here: Keefer Court, the beloved Chinese bakery that closed at the tail end of 2022 after nearly 40 years at Cedar Riverside, has a new home. The bakery is headed for聽Asia Mall in Eden Prairie, where it鈥檒l be owned by the owners of Pho Mai, who have purchased the bakery and will learn the recipes from Keefer Court鈥檚 original owner, Sunny Kwan,聽Sahan Journal reports. The聽latest news聽is that they're hoping for a December opening.


The old Clancey's space in Linden Hills (4307 Upton Ave. S., Minneapolis) will soon become a 鈥渘eighborhood gathering spot first, food second鈥 kind of spot called Picnic,聽Southwest Voices reports. They鈥檒l have snacky platters, picnic boards, sandwiches, and the like.聽Their聽website is up and running; look for it to open early this year.


Petit Le贸n鈥檚 James Beard-nominated chef Jorge Guzm谩n is opening an 鈥渆levated Mex-Tex鈥 restaurant at the Beach Club Residences on Bde Maka Ska (2900 Thomas Ave S., Minneapolis). The Star Tribune聽reports it鈥檒l open in February-ish聽of 2024, with food Guzm谩n says is 鈥渂old, full of flavor, and playful."

Diane鈥檚 Place

It鈥檚 been a long time since lauded pastry chef Diane Moua announced she was leaving Bellecour to focus on her own thing, but we got another update in November: The restaurant, now known as Diane's Place, will land in the Food Building (1401 NE. Marshall St.) in northeast Minneapolis,聽according to Eater Twin Cities. It's slated to open early this year.

Tender Lovin Chix

The former Fire and Nice Alehouse spot (2700 Lyndale Ave S., Minneapolis) won鈥檛 be vacant long; MSP Mag聽has the scoop on聽Tender Lovin Chix, a food truck-turned-brick 'n' mortar from Marques (Ques) Johnson (the short-lived CHX tendie shops) and Billy Tserenbat (Billy Sushi). They鈥檙e looking to open in spring of 2024.聽


It was a bummer when Richfield鈥檚 Lyn65 closed to make way for an apartment complex a few years back, and it was a bummer when Riverview Cafe and Wine Bar closed indefinitely back in 2021. Good news on both fronts聽from Mpls. St. Paul Mag: Lynette, an homage to Lyn65 from a few of its founders, will head to the former Riverview space (3751 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis) in spring 2024.


So, about the former Dangerous Man building? It鈥檒l soon house chef Yia Vang鈥檚 long awaited Hmong fine-dining restaurant, Vinai. Initially announced pre-pandemic for another location (1300 NE 2nd St., Minneapolis), Vinai is now expected to open in spring 2024. 鈥淭his restaurant is about carrying on my parents' legacy,鈥 Vang says in a press release. 鈥淏ut it鈥檚 also about carrying on a piece of Dangerous Man鈥檚 legacy, and the legacy of the community here.鈥澛犅

Mother Dough No. 3

David Fhima鈥檚 Mother Dough Bakery is adding a third location this fall,聽according to Bring Me the News. You鈥檒l find it in the Mill District, on the ground floor of the Vicinity Apartments building at Park Avenue & South Second Street.

Animales Brick 'n' Mortar

Here鈥檚 a meaty story for ya: Animales BBQ is聽looking to open聽in a brick-'n'-mortar building. Year-round ribs, folks! Jon Wipfli (of Animales) is teaming up with Billy Tserenbat (of Billy Sushi) to bring the place to life in either the North Loop or northeast Minneapolis.

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 2024. Read more聽via the Strib.

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