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Restaurant Openings

The two partners of Handsome Hog aren’t casting pearls before swine with their new collaborative restaurant in Stillwater, Pearl & the Thief, with the team behind LoLo’s American Kitchen. Handsome’s Executive Chef Jason Sutherland and Joseph Pirri are partnering with LoLo’s Joe Ehlenz and Brad Nordeen to open the new eatery, which Sutherland told Mpls/St. Paul Magazine will be “ground zero for oysters and whiskey, with food cooked from his family’s Southern roots.”


Tom Forti’s Sunrise Market has morphed into Iron Ranger, located not on the Iron Range where it takes its name from, but on  Grand Avenue in St. Paul. The pub will have 44 seats in the restaurant with more on the back patio. Northern Minnesota staples will be highlighted on the menu, including porketta. 


Pourhouse’s third location, this one in the old Coup d’Etat space in Uptown, is in the house. The popular sports bar/nightclub also has live music and bottle service. The concept requires massive square footage, which a sit-down restaurant in Uptown doesn’t, so here’s hoping this is what the finicky Uptown diners will continue to pour into.


MN Nice Cream dipped its cone into the market to test the waters, and now has opened a cafe location in the recently shuttered Empire Coffee site on Broadway in Northeast Minneapolis. It’s one of those lucky Minnesota eateries with an outdoor space. And summer and outdoors makes everyone scream for ice cream. 

Cooking competitions aren’t just for TV. Food scientist Lisa Desrocher and her husband, Bill, who has a background in business and sales, won the Destination Downtown Business contest sponsored by the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce to open a distillery and tasting room in the city’s downtown, according to the Brainerd Dispatch. As the winner, the couple received $50,000 toward opening their business, the Brainerd Distilling Co. Plans are to use locally grown ingredients, such as rhubarb and wild rice to make the spirits. 


Donnie Dirk is indeed dead and his Donnie Dirk’s Zombie Den on North Second Street in Minneapolis is being rewritten as a new bar with a new backstory, Mr. Steven’s Snuggery. The storyteller behind the new endeavor is Leslie Bock, who also operates Betty Danger’s Country Club and Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge. She's known for creating colorful characters who shape the atmosphere, which in this case is a bit on the R-rated side. Currently they are hosting two-hour cocktail parties on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Tickets can be purchased in advance on their website, or at the door if there's snuggle room. 


Tap Society is on schedule to be opened in June in the former Kings Wine Bar space on Grand Avenue South in Minneapolis. The bar, which features self-serve beer, wine and cider, has been operating as a pop-up until a permanent site was found. Owner is Mike Fritz

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