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News and Noteworthy Around the Twin Cities

Mike Rakun

The remake of what was Marin will open this month in the Le Meridien Chambers Hotel in downtown Minneapolis as executive chef and partner Mike Rakun introduces his new restaurant concept, Mercy. Named after Rakun’s daughter, Mercy will extend the classic, comfortable style of the lower-  level Library Bar to the upper floor and showcase Rakun’s philosophy of sourcing the best ingredients and letting them speak for themselves on an approachable menu.

“The success of Marin has afforded me the opportunity to move forward in a new direction. Mercy will be uniquely my own and I’m excited to show everyone what we have in store,” said Rakun in a statement. “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to share more of who I am and create a spot that represents how and where I like to eat.”

In addition to Marin, Rakun has been involved in numerous restaurants around the Twin Cities including Mission American Kitchen, Black Sheep Pizza, and Mill Valley Kitchen.


TriMark USA announced in February the acquisition of Omaha, Nebraska-based Hockenbergs Food Service Equipment and Supply, which has a restaurant supply store and showroom in Eagan. 

“Customer satisfaction has been the core of our company’s success,” said Hockenbergs President Tom Schrack Jr. in a statement. “Performing at the highest level and delivering reliable, expert services has never been more important. Joining forces with TriMark will allow us to strengthen our foundation and bring significant value to our long-standing customer relationships.”

Senior leadership, including Schrack Jr. as president, along with Tim Schrack and Paul Parr as executive vice presidents, will remain at what became TriMark Hockenbergs. This deal marks TriMark’s third acquisition in the past eight months. In June 2016 TriMark acquired San Diego-based foodservice equipment and supplies dealer R.W. Smith & Co. and Maryland’s Adams-Burch. 


Katie Neufeld

Expected to open in May, The Hotel Landing in downtown Wayzata recently announced several key hires. Katie Neufeld brings 25 years of hospitality experience to the hotel as general manager, most recently working as the GM of the Millennium Hotel Minneapolis. Catering manager Danielle Gomis has worked in the industry for 21 years with a focus on catering and events at luxury hotels, including for Morley Companies and The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California. 

Joining Neufeld and Gomis are Andrea Vieyra, director of sales and marketing, and sales manager Kim Nevins.

The Hotel Landing is the final block of The Promenade of Wayzata featuring 92 guest rooms and suites, a two-story restaurant, a private dining room and contemporary bar, as well as upscale meeting and banquet facilities. It’s the first hotel to sit along the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka in more than 50 years.


Kieran Folliard’s Food Building in Northeast Minneapolis is down one business as Folliard and Lone Grazer owner Rueben Nilsson decided in February to shut down The Lone Grazer Creamery. In a statement on the company’s webpage, the two said, “we have a business where despite people’s very hard work, unwavering dedication, and loved products, it is not growing fast enough to justify more investment.” They’ll now focus investment and resources on the Food Building’s other two businesses, Red Table Meat Co. and Baker’s Field Flour & Bread. 


Danielle Gomis

Three Minnesota distilleries left the Distillers Convention and Vendor Trade Show in Nashville, Tennessee, as winners of a 2017 American Craft Spirits award. Minneapolis distilleries Du Nord Craft Spirits and Tattersall Distilling, along with J. Carver Distillery in Waconia, won medals. In “Best of Class Winners,” Du Nord won for its L’etoile Du Nord vodka while Tattersall’s Barreled Gin was awarded. In the specialty category, Tattersall took gold for its orange crema; its grapefruit crema, aquavit and fernet earned silver, and its crème de fleur and absinthe blanche took bronze. 

Du Nord had another gold winner in its Fitzgerald Formula No. 1 gin, while its Apple Du Nord and Café Frieda gins won bronze medals. J. Carver, meanwhile, won silver for its Lake House Vodka, and bronze for its Barrel Gin, Apply Brandy, Hunt Club Double Barrel Rye Whiskey and Sevilla Liqueur. 

Coffee Talk

Chef Doug Flicker is bringing new life to the old Sunrise Inn (4563 S. 34th Ave.) in south Minneapolis and will open Bull’s Horn, a casual bar and restaurant, this spring with wife Amy Greeley. Flicker closed his Piccolo restaurant in March; his Esker Grove restaurant at The Walker Art Center was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.


The original Colossal Café on 42nd Street in Minneapolis will double its seating capacity when owners John and Elizabeth Tinucci move it to the old Pilgrimage Café a mile away. After a refresh and working with HCM Architects, it will open this spring.

HopCat, a beer-focused restaurant from Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Barfly Ventures, is coming to the Nic on Fifth apartment tower in downtown Minneapolis. Following a $2 million buildout, HopCat will take 5,500 square feet on the ground level, along with a 100-seat patio along Nicollet Mall and 5th Street.


Mitch Robbie is the new chef at Eddie Wu’s restaurant, Cook St. Paul. He previously cooked at several Twin Cities restaurants, including Tilia and Muddy Waters.


New fast-casual concept Burrigato will open this month in Dinkytown’s Sydney Hall apartments (314 15th Ave. SE). First-time restaurateurs Korra Ektanitphong and Daniel Ringgenberg created the Asian fusion spot; Diversified Construction in St. Louis Park is the general contractor on the project. 


Crooked Pint Ale House is open in the former Maplewood Champps space (1734 Adolphus St.) Owner Paul Dzubnar now has a handful of Crooked Pint locations; he’s also CEO of Green Mill Restaurants. 


Closures: Kim Bartmann’s Bearcat Bar, the quick remake of Loring Park restaurant Third Bird, closed in February.

In St. Louis Park, the Granite City restaurant on Excelsior Boulevard closed March 26. Over in The Shops at West End, national chain Bonefish Grill shut down in February.

After 20 years, Famous Dave’s in Stillwater closed. Meanwhile, founder Dave Anderson will open the fourth location of his new concept, Jimmie’s Old Southern BBQ, in the former Chatterbox Café at 44th Street and France Avenue in Minneapolis. Anderson still acts as a consultant for Minnetonka-based Famous Dave’s. 

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