In Brief: A Queen is Crowned
During construction of its Robbinsdale’s site, Travail Kitchen and Amusements is moving into a temporary home in January for a “Minneapolis Residency” at 1930 Hennepin Ave. in Minneapolis, which formerly housed Bradstreet Crafthouse, Rye Delicatessen & Bar, and the legendary Auriga. Once completed Travail will move back into a brand-new, two-story space in the early summer of 2019, and the old Travail space will be remodeled into the new Pig Ate My Pizza brew pub slated to open late spring. During the first six months of construction, Travail will host three different concepts, each lasting about two months. They will be using its tried-and-true concept: a pre-fixe tasting menu sold in advance through ticketed reservations, open Wednesday-Saturday, with a first-come, first-served format. The first concept will be Umami, a pre-fixe menu including Dim Sum cart service, shared family courses, amuse bites and sake bombs.
Chef Karyn Tomlinson of Corner Table in Minneapolis was the first woman to win the coveted Grand Cochon title at its 10th anniversary event in Chicago. Tomlinson won the regional competition in March (you can read about that win in Foodservice News’ May cover story). The event is a heritage-breed hog competition. Tomlinson’s menu featured a Duroc pig raised by Hidden Stream Farms, and her dishes ranged from spare ribs to Swedish meatballs to an apple pie with a lard crust and liver ice cream. The co-owner of Corner Table, Thomas Boemer, won the national title in 2015. Dustin Nguyen of Martina won the Punch King bartending competition.
Schwan’s Co., whose portfolio includes Red Baron Pizza and Mrs. Smith’s pies, is selling a majority stake in the business to South Korean food giant CJ CheilJedang in a deal worth $1.8 billion. The sale includes 80 percent of Schwan’s primary business—sales of prepared foods to grocery stores and restaurants. The Schwan family will retain a 20 percent stake, as well as control of its delivery business, Schwan’s Home Service. Once the deal closes, Schwan’s will be operated as a subsidiary of CJ Foods America Corp. and keep its offices in Bloomington and Marshall, as well as its senior management team, according to a news release.
The iconic Bryant Lake Bowl is striking out in a new direction, as longtime employee Erica Gilbert buys the bowling alley, restaurant, bar and 85-seat theater in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood from owner Kim Bartmann. The restaurant, one of 10 in The Bartmann Group portfolio, is also celebrating its 25th anniversary under Bartmann ownership. Among the local memories of date nights and Fringe Festival shows is that Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft attended “Squeezebox” in the theater September 2003, under consideration for a run in New York City. Later, they produced and tested a one-woman show destined for Broadway. Michael Cera, a Canadian actor, producer, songwriter and musician, held a private interview and photo shoot in the theater once. And the edgy Cohen brothers were inspired after their wrap party for the movie, Fargo, at the Bryant Lake Bowl to go on to create The Big Lebowski, a cult film—staring Jeff Bridges as “The Dude”—about bowling and other things. The Black Keys regularly visit, as do many other local and national acts, inspiring the company policy of treating regulars like rock stars and rock stars like regulars.
Jack Link’s newest jerky flavors are about to get a little bit wilder. As part of the Jack’s Signature Batch line, the new flavors are craft cola, spiced mocha and umami boom, according to the Star-Tribune, and are being sold for a limited time from its retail shop on the skyway level of Target Center. This is just the first of many flavors to come from the test kitchens at Jack.