Aquaponic urban farm takes over former Hamm's Brewery building in St. Paul

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Keane Amdahl
Urban Organics, one of the nation's largest aquaponic farms, has opened for business in the former Hamm's Brewery building in St. Paul.

All six floors of the building will eventually be utilized by Urban Organics's aquaponic system and 18 3,500-gallon tilapia tanks will be scattered throughout. At peak production, the Urban Organics farming system is projected to yield 720,000 pounds of greens and 150,000 pounds of fish per year. As of now, only one floor is fully operational.

The produce -- which currently includes 100% organic certified kale, Swiss chard, Italian parsley, and cilantro -- is already being sold at select Lunds and Byerly's locations in the Twin Cities.

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Take a peek inside the remodeled Town Hall Brewery


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First look: French Meadow St. Paul

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Joy Summer
The pastry case is full, the beer taps are flowing, and the kitchen is fired up at French Meadow Grand Ave.
For all of the charm of old buildings, they often have structural issues lurking around every corner. Such was the case with the former home of Coffee News, the cafe on Grand Avenue on the Macalester College campus that is now the second location of French Meadow Cafe and Bakery. Once French Meadow began renovations in the space, they realized that it would be a much bigger job than anticipated. Now, months after their original opening date, and nearly 29 years after opening their flagship location in Minneapolis, French Meadow's St. Paul outpost is open.

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First look: Boneyard Kitchen and Bar
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First look: Boneyard Kitchen and Bar

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Joy Summers
Deviled eggs and a Mason jar glass
A little over a week ago, Uptown's newest addition, Boneyard Kitchen & Bar, threw open its doors and invited eaters in with a down-home howdy-do. The restaurant's menu is full of Southern classics, each with a little twist, like the bloody Mary spiked with bourbon and the deviled eggs topped with bacon and a slice of jalapeno. We settled in for a long lunch, tossed our dietary concerns out the window, and dug in.

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First look: Butcher Salt, a new meat-centric food truck

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Joy Summers
Butcher Salt rolls into downtown Minneapolis
Nothing heralds spring like the first sighting of a string of food trucks lining Marquette Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. On Friday morning, the lineup included Butcher Salt on its inaugural downtown lunch run. We stopped by for a first taste.

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Sunrise Market to bring Iron Range favorites to the cities

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A nondescript building that holds a treasure trove of foodie delights
The foods from the Forti family bakery have been fortifying the people of Hibbing for more than 100 years. Christmas morning isn't the same without a loaf of their honey-spiked, walnut-studded potica smeared with fresh cream butter, and transplants from the Iron Range have longed for their pasties and squishy, fat loaves of Italian bread. Now, there's no need to make the three hour journey up north to satiate those cravings because the Forti family's Sunrise Market is open for business in St. Paul.

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BoneYard Kitchen & Bar opens today in Uptown

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Courtesy BoneYard
Pit ham, deviled eggs, and cheddar biscuits with whole grain mustard

It was way back in June when we first announced that Kaskaid Hospitality Group, the company behind Crave, Figlio 2.0, and Union, had bought up the former Old Chicago on Hennepin and planned to turn it into their next big project. 

After a name-the-restaurant contest, an overhaul of the interior, and many deviled egg recipes tested, BoneYard Kitchen & Bar is set to open today at 11 a.m. So what can we expect food-wise from this Southern comfort concept, and perhaps most importantly, when is happy hour?

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First look: Birchwood Cafe pop-up at Verdant Tea

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Joy Summers
Scrambled eggs with sheep's milk cheese at Verdant Tea
The smiling faces of tea growers look on from pictures on a nearby wall at Verdant Tea as owner David Duckler explains that he has long wished to share the flavors of the Shandong province of China where his teas are grown.  "When visiting a home, part of the hospitality is to feed guests," he says. 

And now he can, through a unique collaboration with Birchwood Cafe, which will be popping up at Verdant while its own location is being renovated. The traditional Shandong dishes Duckler longs for have been put through Birchwood's lovely local lens and the result is a breakfast and brunch menu meant to be paired with Verdant's array of teas. 

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First look: Kyatchi

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Joy Summers
Just noodling around inside the new Kyatchi

The corner of 38th and Nicollet Avenue is fast becoming a magnet for food lovers. There's the established Blackbird Cafe on one corner, a meat shop on another, and Five Watt Coffee (with a unicorn stable available for rent by the hour according to their sign) opening soon. And across the street from them is the new Kyatchi, a restaurant that comes from industry veterans specializing in, among other things, sustainable sushi.

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First look: La Fresca

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Joy Summers
Panuchos: tender, tart, crispy, savory -- all in one little bite
For Hector Ruiz, life in South Minneapolis is Grand. The chef is owner of three restaurants -- Cafe Ena, Rincon 38, and now, La Fresca -- all located on Grand Avenue, all within blocks of each other. His latest venture opened last weekend, promising nuevo Mexican cuisine, and we stopped by for a first bite.

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Makers Cafe, a new concept from Dunn Bros, is now open

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Photo courtesy Makers Cafe
Now open in Edina
The new Makers Cafe, a fast casual concept from Dunn Bros. Coffee and Cafe Inc., invites you to "eat at your desk with dignity." Our crumb-filled keyboards suggest that we might not have been doing so with much dignity up until now. 

Makers Cafe will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner at its new Edina location and will focus on using mostly local ingredients. They'll also be highlighting other area artisans, or as they call them, "makers."

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