First Look: Nelson's Ice Cream brings towering scoops to St. Paul

Categories: Now Open
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Grant Tillery
Nelson's, a local favorite since 1923.
Nelson's Ice Cream is a local institution. Opened in 1923, the original humble, ramshackle scoop shop in Stillwater earned legions of fans thanks to its ungodly portions of velveteen Cedar Crest and Kemps ice creams (Cedar Crest is made just north of the Twin Cities in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and Kemps is a Twin Cities company).  

After 91 years in business, the purveyors of all things grandiose have opened a second location in the former Palumbo's Pizzeria in St. Paul. Not surprisingly, the Mac-Groveland neighborhood is quite taken with this new arrival. 

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First Look: Mattie's on Main brings a modern day saloon to Riverplace

Categories: Now Open

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The last year has been a big one for Dean Schlaak and Tom DeGree, owners of Wilde Roast Cafe in St. Anthony Main. In August, they were married in their Lake Elmo backyard, and a week ago, the pair opened Mattie St. Clair's House of Spirits next door to Wilde Roast Cafe.

Mattie's, which Schlaak and DeGree refer to as a "modern day saloon," is named after 19th century madame and brothel owner Mattie St. Clair, whose establishment once stood near the restaurant. The restaurant doesn't have an official sign, but the plastic "Now Open" flag hanging above the front window guides patrons in the right direction.

See also:
Wilde Roast Cafe revamps and moves to Riverplace


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First Look: Brunch at the new Corner Table

Categories: Now Open
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The new brunch menu at Corner Table is a contender for best in the Twin Cities

With Pat's Tap, Hola Arepa, Kyatchi, Blackbird, and a smattering of other quality choices, the south side of Nicollet is quickly becoming a full-fledged extension of the well known Eat Street. And there's one establishment in particular that's quite simply on fire. 

The newly relaunched Corner Table is only one month into its new location and already owner Nick Rancone and chef Thomas Boemer have pushed their successful farm-to-table concept to another level. Along with the new, beautifully simple, comfortable space comes an expansion of their menu, targeted at weekend brunch lovers. Rest assured, this isn't just brunch; it's brunch Corner Table-style.

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Sip a refreshing mint julep or swill a smoky Manhattan for Father's Day [RECIPES]
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Tin Whiskers, downtown St. Paul's new brewery, unveils latest brew at grand opening today

Categories: Beer, Now Open
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Loren Green

After a soft opening in mid-May, Tin Whiskers, a new downtown St. Paul brewery, is holding its official Grand Opening today at 4 p.m.

You may have seen Tin Whiskers pouring samples at the 22nd Annual City Pages Beer Festival last weekend. The new brewery already has five beers on tap -- Flipswitch IPA, Wheatstone Bridge, Batch Beta Carb, Batch Beta Nitro, and Batch Alpha -- a range of IPAs, wheat beers, and stouts. For the opening they will unveil their sixth brew, Ampere Amber.

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Weekend brew round-up: City Pages Beer Fest, new Mankato APA, and more


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First Look: The Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen brings farmhouse chic to Eat Street

Categories: Now Open

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Grant Tillery
The Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen brings a slice of the farmstead to Eat Street.

On a stretch of Nicollet dominated by pho joints and swanky cocktail bars, the Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen stands out with its farmhouse chic food and ambiance. It's not a place you'd expect to find on Eat Street, and would seem more at home nestled on a bluff near Lake Pepin, but thanks to Kickstarter funding, owners Chris and Danielle Bjorling bring something fresh to this part of Minneapolis: honest-to-goodness, Midwestern haute cooking from scratch.

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The Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen finds a home on Eat Street

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First Look: Sober Fish blends sushi and Thai standards in former True Thai space

Categories: Now Open

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First it was Drunken Fish. Then it was Drunken Sake. Now, after weeks of debate over the name, the restaurant that took over the former True Thai space has settled on a permanent moniker -- Sober Fish.

According to a Sober Fish waitress, the Seward neighborhood found the first two names overly suggestive. The more conservatively named sushi spot opened three weeks ago to the delight of sushi-hungry Seward residents, and don't let the name fool you: Soberfish can still get you tipsy.


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Drunken Sake to open in former True Thai space

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First Look: Lago Tacos in Lyn-Lake

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David McCrindle
When you consider the high concentration of bars in Uptown and the tendency for people to be out late and on foot, there's an alarming lack of tacos in that neighborhood. Or there was until very recently, when World Street Kitchen debuted their lamb belly and jerk beef fusion ones and Nico's Tacos moved into the former Birdhouse space on Hennepin.

Now Lago Tacos, a mid-range Mexican restaurant with a store in Excelsior, has opened in the former Heidi's space on Lyndale. Is it in any way significant that both of Stewart Woodman's shuttered restaurants became taco spots? Probably just a coincidence. But it certainly seems that the slightly upscale taqueria concept is just what the neighborhood was hungry for. We stopped by this weekend to get a first taste and check out the overhaul of the patio and interior.

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First Look: Bogart's Doughnut Co. hosts grand opening tomorrow in south Minneapolis

Categories: Now Open

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Hannah Sayle
A dozen Bogart's blessings

Take one part buttery brioche dough and one part disenchanted attorney looking for a career change and you have the recipe for Bogart's Doughnut Co., a new fried sweets spot at Bryant and 36th.

What started as a Kingfield Farmers Market stand three years ago has blossomed into a charming (and tiny) doughnut shop that will host its grand opening tomorrow. Did we mention the brioche dough?

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Top 10 donuts in the Twin Cities

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First Look: Grain Stack settles into MIA

Categories: Now Open

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Hannah Sayle
Grain Stack: An ingenious selection of food and drink
As kids, we remember taking field trips to the art museum. History, culture, capturing the human experience, sure. But what really stuck with us was the feeling of unpacking a sad sack lunch while the museum cafe sat tantalizingly out of reach. We requited that childhood injustice this week with a trip to MIA's new restaurant.

Grain Stack opened quietly in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in January, taking over the space that formerly housed Mezzanine. The new cafe is just one of MIA's three new food offerings from Stock & Badge, a collaboration between Rustica and Dogwood Coffee.

Stock & Badge's makeover includes a Dogwood coffee and cocktail bar, a kid-friendly quick-service spot called Half Pint, and Grain Stack, a sophisticated cafe with hearty and healthy lunch options for gallerygoers. We stopped by for a look at the new space and menu.

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First Look: The new and improved Birchwood Cafe in Seward

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First Look: The new and improved Birchwood Cafe in Seward

Categories: Now Open

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Seward's Birchwood Cafe reopened on Tuesday morning to a beaming neighborhood crowd. Owner Tracy Singleton milled about the space, greeting former customers and commenting on small, last-minute changes that needed to be made, like finding different containers for the restaurant's new silverware.

Birchwood Cafe closed in February to renovate the 18-year-old establishment. Part of the process involved going before Seward and City Council and asking for permission to change the space's designation from a residential to commercial establishment.

"We wanted to serve more good, real food and now we can," owner Singleton says. "We really wanted to preserve the Birchwood experience."

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Birchwood Cafe to host a goodbye party and a pop-up


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