The Mill: Nice Ride Minnesota to introduce dockless bike sharing in 2018

Nice Ride aims to develop a dockless biking system // Photo via Nice Ride's Facebook

Nice Ride aims to develop a dockless biking system // Photo via Nice Ride’s Facebook

Nice Ride Minnesota, the nonprofit behind the signature lime green bikes seen all over Minneapolis and St. Paul, is planning to roll out a new dockless bike sharing program. The new system would eliminate the need for the docking stations that riders currently use to check bikes in and out, effectively opening up access to biking and greatly lowering the cost to ride.

The alternative dockless system would be controlled with a mobile app, allowing users to find and lock up the shared bikes wherever they’re at. Nice Ride is in the process of evaluating two final proposals from LimeBike and Motivate, but the general concept will entail slowly phasing out old Nice Ride bikes and docks to be completely replaced with the new dockless bicycles.

The move toward dockless bike sharing has already begun in Seattle, Washington D.C., and across China. The hope is that it will open up access to biking for hundreds of thousands of residents who currently aren’t within reach of a bike station. The new system could lower costs to $1 per half hour of riding and put up to 10,000 shared bikes on the streets, up from the 1,850 bikes currently in rotation.

Should Nice Ride go ahead with a proposal, the program could start to go effect as early as next spring. But as it could take a couple years to fully roll out, Nice Ride intends to keep current bikes and bike stations running through 2018.


Harpoon Brewery acquired Clown Shoes Beer // Photo via Harpoon Brewery's Facebook

Harpoon Brewery acquired Clown Shoes Beer // Photo via Harpoon Brewery’s Facebook

Boston’s Harpoon Brewery announced this week that they’ve acquired Clown Shoes Beer. Clown Shoes took to their blog to assure loyal followers that they have no intention of shifting their identity or “selling out,” and will continue to produce high quality beers at “an accelerated rate.”

Cold Spring Brew Co. and Third Street Brewhouse raised $25K for local charities and organizations this year. With a tap takeover program called “Taps That Give Back,” all beer proceeds made from an evening hosted at the Brewhouse goes to the evening’s sponsoring organization.

56 Brewing has announced the release of their new top-selling beers, Nose Hair Bender IPA and Northeast Nectar Honey Wheat Ale, in cans. They’re rolling out distribution of six-packs at over 50 liquor stores around the metro area.

Founders will be releasing its famed Canadian Breakfast Stout for the first time since 2014. Bottles will retail for $24.99 each, which may seem steep to anyone who hasn’t had CBS. The beer will be available everywhere in 750-milliliter bottles, on draft, and on tap in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, taproom.

Worthington will be getting its own microbrewery in 2018 to be named Sexy Beast Brewing Co. Brewmaster Brent Droll plans to serve around a dozen locally-brewed beers on tap.

Urban Forage Winery and Ciderhouse is opening a taproom on Lake Street. Owner Jeff Zeitler started fermenting his own cider in his dorm room 25 years ago, and has since nearly perfected his signature technique foraging for all of the fruits, flowers, and hops that he uses to brew his wines and ciders.

An alleged “booze bandit” stole more than $15k worth of high-end wine from a supermarket liquor store in Tahoe, California. The suspect, described as a six-foot-tall white male, made off with a total of 55 bottles of wine and remains at large in the Tahoe area. No doubt he’s enjoying some fine wine as he awaits police apprehension.


Burger at Nighthawks Diner // Photo by Dan Murphy

Burger at Nighthawks Diner // Photo by Dan Murphy

Nighthawks Diner, located in the Kingfield neighborhood of South Minneapolis, is officially under the management of Bartmann Group, which also manages hotspots around town like Tiny Diner, Red Stag Supperclub, and Bryant-Lake Bowl & Theatre. The restaurant’s future became uncertain in January when it lost its chef Landon Schoenefeld, though this move signals good things to come for the diner and its more intimate dining space, Birdie.

After 40 years with what started as a handshake between friends, Muffuletta is closing its doors for good. Co-owners Phil Roberts and Pete Mihajlov have decided that, with the decline in sales and oncoming construction of Como Avenue, it was best to end on a high note. The cozy spot named after a New Orleans sandwich will stay open until November 11.

Farm + Vine, a fast-casual restaurant in Minnetonka sourcing its proteins from Minnesota farmers, is holding its soft opening on November 6 with dinner only. The restaurant will serve lunch beginning November 13, and a grand opening on November 20.

Mucci’s Italian now offers frozen foods for those who wish to enjoy their pizza, lasagna, and pasta (yes, I said and) from the comfort of their own kitchens. The items are available for purchase in the restaurant, where customers can swing by and skip the infamously-long wait to score a table.

Paris officially has its first nudist restaurant, O’naturel. The establishment is outfitted with thick black curtains to ensure a safe dining experience for those who choose to dine in the buff, as well as a cloakroom where diners can de-robe before eating.

Minneapolis comedians Louie Anderson and Joel Hodgson are putting on a benefit show November 25 for the owner of Pepitos, who is in need of a lung transplant. Joe Minjares and his family opened the restaurant on the corner of 48th Street and Chicago Avenue in 1971, but with back taxes and health problems mounting, the establishment will likely be up for sale soon.

Be’Wiched Deli is opening up a second location in Plymouth. The sandwich shop worshipped for its pastrami currently operates at its original location in the North Loop.

An early morning fire on Sunday has forced Patriot’s Tavern in Stillwater to close for repairs. The restaurant’s linen and towel storage bin caught fire outside of the building and damaged their walk-in cooler and a few other minor things, said the company in a Facebook post.

Fig + Farro is opening this winter in Calhoun Square, in the former Figlio’s space. With a menu of “global vegetarian comfort food,” the restaurant encourages diners to consider their carbon footprint by consuming less meat.

Hodges Bend of Tulsa, Oklahoma, will be serving up wine, coffee, and cocktails in their new Prospect Park location this coming January.

Burger chain Shake Shack is planning to open a stand-alone location next to the Southdale Center in Edina. The only other Shake Shack in Minnesota is located in the Mall of America. The prospects are looking good since the Edina Planning Commission unanimously approved of the project last week.


Sidewalk Dogs' new pass brings together dogs and beer // Photo via Sidewalk Dogs' Facebook

Sidewalk Dogs’ new pass brings together dogs and beer // Photo via Sidewalk Dogs’ Facebook

For those who dread parting with their pups, Twin Cities’ Sidewalk Dog is selling a $25 pass this winter that allows dogs and their owners entrance and one free beer at 10 participating breweries.

The previous site of McMahon’s Pub, which has stood empty since a fatal fire raged through the bar and upstairs units in 2010, will become a 43-unit apartment complex for homeless seniors. Alliance Housing purchased the building with the intent of creating affordable housing for those living on Social Security, disability checks, or other welfare programs.

Minneapolis has installed solar energy systems into five public parks in the last two years as part of a larger city-wide move to become more energy-efficient and minimize its carbon footprint. The city partnered with Xcel to install 374 panels that have already saved taxpayers more than $80,000.

Minnetonka chess grandmaster Wesley So is within reach of chess’ biggest prize. He is one of eight elite chess players in the world who will compete in the biennial Candidates Tournament in Berlin next year, which is the sole route to the coveted world title. In response to the news, So casually posted, “They say I have made it to the Candidates. Anyway, I see my name on this list,” referring to a list published by a chess website.

The Mill is The Growler’s regular digest of all things new and notable in the world of food, drink, and culture. Stop back weekly for restaurant news, brewery rumors, and more. Have some news you want to share? Got some gossip to dish? Drop us a line at [email protected]