Round-up on St. Paul Restaurants
Long lines formed at the original Red’s Savoy Pizza when owners announced a mid-September closing. The announcement was made days after the death of owner Earl “Red” Schoenheider in August. He was 82, and had owned the restaurant for 52 years. Family members said the East Seventh restaurant isn’t ADA compliant and needs other upgrades. It is one of several St. Paul restaurants recently targeted by so-called nuisance lawsuits filed under the guise of seeking accessibility improvements. Business advocates contend the people filing the complaints simply want to make money, not access improvements. Other Savoy locations will remain open. Schoenheider franchised the business years ago.
Go up East Seventh to the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood and a second iconic closing is also on the horizon. The Beehive Tavern, the city’s last 3.2 bar, is for sale. In a Pioneer Press interview, owner John Weber said Sunday liquor sales are the latest blow to the business, which opened as a bar in 1889, became a 3.2 bar during Prohibition and never switched back. The property is for sale.
A third iconic closing is being felt in Lowertown, where staple Golden’s Deli has closed its doors after two decades. A new establishment, Biergarten Germania, will open in its space later this fall. The new restaurant, owned by Lowertown resident Kari Richtsmeier, will feature cuisines from the historic region of Germania, offering a variety of dishes from Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands. A social media post described the new space as being a modern beer hall, with Lowertown artists involved in its design. TVs there will be tuned to European soccer matches. The Golden brothers, Jim and David, will continue to sell bagel sandwiches and other offerings at the nearby St. Paul Farmers Market.
More changes are taking place downtown. The Twin Cities’ seven Baja Sol Tortilla Grill restaurants, including the one in the downtown skyway system, closed abruptly around Labor Day. The downtown spot, which had been open for about a year, was the former longtime home of the Four Inns restaurant.
The transformation of the former Macy’s department store into the Treasurer Island Center of retail and ice rink space is well underway, with completion eyed for late winter or early spring 2018. Part of the mix will be Stacked Deck Brewing Company, formerly Looney Bin Brewery, owned by Andy Erickson, Brad Randall and Scott Wege.
Citizen Supper Club in the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel will be reinvented and relaunched as Citizen.
As Eastside and Lowertown mainstays close, a historic Westside bar reopened after decades of dormancy. The new Yoerg Brewery is opening in the former Wabasha Bar on Wabasha Street. Beer was first brewed here in 1848 at a location where the RiverCentre parking ramp is now. Yoerg’s was located on the West Side for decades, along the base of the bluff. “Cave-aged” beer was a staple. The beer has been revived and is now being brewed in Wisconsin. The new taproom will serve beer, wine and specialty foods. Opening is in October. The Wabasha Bar has its own niche in St. Paul history as the first bar to be permanently closed in the early 1990s under city nuisance regulations. Jim Scheibel was mayor at the time, and his family members had owned and operated the bar decades earlier.
Flamingo at University and Syndicate is now Bole Ethiopian Cuisine, serving breakfast through late night food options. The focus is still on East African food, under the new ownership.
The Thai rolled ice cream craze has hit St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood, with restaurants about a block apart. Wonders Ice Cream and Sota Hot and Cold both opened in late summer on University Avenue. Chopped ingredients are mixed into liquid custard or ice cream, which is then poured onto a frozen prep griddle. The custard or ice cream is scraped in rolls and placed in cups with other items such as cookies or fruit.
The Lexington is finally opening its long-awaited, 60-seat rooftop patio, one of the final pieces of the popular restaurant’s revival. Look for a tiki theme on the menu.