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Find out about the latest restaurant openings and closings in the Twin Cities area

By on January 5, 2022 0

The end of the year usually brings a sad string of restaurant closings, and 2021 was no exception. Among them was PinKU Japanese Street Food (20 University Av. NE., Mpls.), Which ended with a final New Years Eve party. The creative and laid-back restaurant has had an impressive run, at one point extending to cooperative take-out food and at a point of sale at the MSP airport.

Another great loss is Black Dog Coffee (308 E. Prince St., St. Paul), a Lower Town hub for over 23 years. Co-owner Sara Remke posted a notice on the door and on her Facebook page announcing the cafe’s closing. The concert hall, café-bar and restaurant will host a farewell event on January 15th.

Oklahoma Coffee Shop’s St. Paul’s Outpost Hodges Bend (2700 W. University Av., St. Paul) is closed and the location has been removed from the company’s website. Chef / owner Timmy Truong has closed his comfort food fusion stand Soul Fu inside the North Loop Galley Food Hall (729 Washington Av. N., Mpls.). Soul Fu has combined elements of Chinese cuisine and soul into hearty plates like fried chicken fried rice and spicy mac and cheese. Clockwerks Brewery (25 N. 4th St., Mpls.) Closed with a farewell event on December 18.

In better news, new restaurants are joining the scene.

Opening January 6 is Carbon Kitchen + Market, the place for charcoal beef sandwiches from the folks behind Gastrotruck. Carbon was one of the first vendors at the Graze Food Hall in the North Loop. He now has his own home at 2400 University Av. NE., Mpls. (carbonkitchenmarket.com).

New Brewery by Work opens January 8 and takes over Work’s former pizzeria, Pig Ate My Pizza (4124 W. Broadway, Robbinsdale, nouvellebrewing.com). The brewery features the same cast of characters and the same kind of cuisine that Travail fans know, minus the pizzas.

AT 246 grill, a menu from chefs Mik German and Marisol Herling features scratch bar fare at James Ballentine Uptown VFW (2916 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 246grill.com). Burgers are in the spotlight, along with a fried chicken sandwich, Minnesota poutine (Tater Tots topped with cheese curds and wild rice soup), and a number of vegan options.

The newest addition to Midtown Global Market is The kitchen, Destinee Shelby’s Baked Brand for fresh juices, Budda sauce, chicken sandwiches, cake pots and a stuffed turkey leg (920 E. Lake St., Mpls., Midtownglobalmarket.org).

Spice & Tonic (903 Washington Av. S., Mpls., Spiceandtonic.net) is a new Indian restaurant from Joginder Cheema (formerly Bukhara Indian Bistro, among many others). It opened in mid-December in the former Sanctuary Space in downtown Minneapolis.

What started as a food trailer in 2016 with a single egg roll flavor is now Sumo & Smoh, an “interactive” brick and mortar restaurant with 23 kinds of spring rolls, noodles, colorful desserts and a selection of games – think virtual reality and the escape room. (1579 N. Hamline Av., Falcon Heights, sumosmoh.com).

And the latest addition to the The Wild Bill Sports Show The brand opened in mid-December opposite the Xcel Energy Center, taking over the former Irish bar the Liffey (175 W. 7th St., St. Paul, wildbillssportssaloon-stpaul.com).