The Duluth Folk School, which found itself a permanent home in the Lincoln Park Craft District on West Superior Street last spring, is soon opening its very own cafe and teaching kitchen, to be called the Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace. According to Russell Crawford, beverage director for the cafe, the menu will feature in-house roasted coffee from Almanac Coffee, locally made kombucha, housemade pastries and casual fare, and a seasonal selection of craft beers.
The school itself centers around teaching students to use their hands to develop skills in the arts and crafts, or as it’s simply stated on the school’s website, “to fill a need in the Duluth Community to help people learn how to make things!” In that spirit, the cafe will also have a teaching kitchen to extend class options. Bryan French, director and co-founder of the school says, “The teaching kitchen will allow us to provide one of the aspects of folk school classes we haven’t been able to provide, and that people have been asking for—hands on lessons on how to cook traditional (and occasionally very non-traditional) food.”
French explains that building a cafe within a school that teaches students things like how to keep bees and graft apple trees falls within the school’s mission. “With the folk school’s emphasis on handcrafting [with] an intensely local focus, having a cafe that prepares as much as possible by hand is a perfect blend,” he says. “And the marketplace, which will sell locally made and handcrafted goods, is a perfect pairing for the cafe.”
The cafe originally came about as a means to financially support the school as it continues to grow. “We knew that a folk school, all by itself, wouldn’t be popular enough right away for us to pay our mortgage,” says French. “We thought the addition of a cafe would help bring people in to discover the folk school, and would also be a nice way for attendees of folk school classes to grab a drink or a bite.”
In the spirit of the school’s hands-on ethos, much of the construction is being done by school staff and volunteers, which French admits has been challenging at times with such an old building. But both the cafe and teaching kitchen on track to be open by early to mid-summer.
Surly Brewing has made a controversial decision to move its annual Darkness Day celebration from its Brooklyn Center facility to Somerset, Wisconsin. Because of growing numbers of attendees and a lack of space, as well as the rowdiness that ensues so close to neighboring businesses, the brewery decided it would be better to take the celebration to the Somerset Amphitheater, where attendees have the choice to camp overnight Friday and/or Saturday.
Two Minnesota wineries are on the losing end of a ruling made last week by U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright. Alexis Bailly Vineyard in Hastings and Next Chapter Winery in New Prague filed two years ago claiming that they are unconstitutionally restricted by a state law that says Minnesota wine makers must grow 51 percent of their grapes within the state. The pair of wineries plan to appeal the ruling, which other state wineries argue is in favor of local producers who are trying to distinguish themselves with a unique identity.
The Brewers Association released a report last week of the 50 fastest-growing craft breweries of 2017, three of which hailed from Minnesota. At #22 was 56 Brewing, Lupulin came in at #29, and Beaver Island at #40. The BA reported that median growth among the 50 top growing breweries was a whopping 216 percent from 2016, and the median size of breweries on the list went from 284 barrels in 2016 to 963 barrels in 2017.
Jeff Arundel, owner and operator of Aster Cafe and Jefe Urban Hacienda on St. Anthony Main, is opening a burger spot in the former Tugg’s Tavern this week. The Hideaway Burger Bar will be a no-frills “North Woods” burger joint with a pretty decent happy hour: Monday through Friday 3pm–6pm, with $4 well drinks, $5 craft taps, two full wings for $3, a basket of fries for $4.
The previous Kings Wine Bar in Minneapolis on the corner of Grand Avenue South and 44th Street will soon become the Tap Society, complete with burgers, shakes, and a self-pour beer wall. The new restaurant could be open as soon as June, which presents a tight turnaround for the building which closed as Kings at the end of March. Tap Society has been running as a pop-up in Cave Vin on Xerxes Avenue since last August while the owners searched for a permanent location, and will continue to operate there until their official opening.
Coastal Seafoods’ original Minneapolis location will be undergoing a massive expansion for the first time since its opening in 1981. The new wholesale space, right across the street from the current market, will be eight times bigger, with a 1,200-square-foot market and another 3,000 square feet for classes, retail, and other undetermined purposes. The market will have the capacity to stock numerous varieties of fish and shellfish, as well as non-seafood items like locally produced cheeses, honey, and olive oil. Expect to see that transition early this summer.
Sameh and Saed Wadi’s Grand Catch opened yesterday on Grand Avenue in St. Paul with a menu bursting with fresh seafood. The seafood boils include crawfish, clams, king crab, and more, and options for sauces as simple as garlic herb and as mysterious as something called “awesome sauce.” Behind the bar is Isaac Ramon, formerly of Spoon and Stable, who’s mixing up everything from boozy slushies to vieux carrés.
Muddy Paws Cheesecake in St. Louis Park had an especially tough weekend with not just one break-in, but two. Apparently the burglars first came in through the roof, rudely leaving a gaping hole for the snow to pour in for the rest of the weekend, then locked themselves out and re-entered through the front glass door. The bakery is raising funds to cover the extensive damage through GoFundMe, which has already raised over $16K of the $20K goal.
For the first time in the awards’ history, the Pulitzer Prize in Music has been given to an artist outside of the classical or jazz genre. The award was granted to rapper Kendrick Lamar for his unmatched 2017 album, “DAMN.” The Compton rapper has been hailed by many as one of the best of this generation since the release of “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” in 2012. With the award, the Pulitzer wrote of “DAMN.,” “A virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
On April 2, a trio of climbers, including Minnesotan Lonnie Dupre and Canadians Pascale Marceau of Canmore and Vern Stice of Edmonton, were the first to successfully reach the summit of Jeanette Peak, the highest summit in the Selwyn Range of British Columbia at 10,135 feet. It’s likely the peak remained unconquered prior to this expedition due to its avalanche-prone valleys and fence of small, knife-sharp mountains around its base, although those sound like perfectly welcoming conditions to us.
The Gopher women’s basketball team has announced its new head coach—none other than Minnesota Lynx star and Gopher alum Lindsay Whalen. Whalen, who has won four WNBA championship titles and still stands as the second-highest scorer in U of M history, will take the place of Marlene Stollings. As a part of the agreement, Whalen will continue to play for the Lynx as their point guard.
Scientists in Japan may have accidentally come up with a solution to the global plastic crisis when they created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic bottles. The original bacterium starting evolving naturally at a waste dump, but scientists have since started manipulating and experimenting with it to test its abilities to break down the polymer resin used for soft drink bottles. Reportedly the enzyme starts breaking down the plastic within days—a clipped pace compared to the centuries it takes in the oceans—which has made researchers optimistic at the possibility of growing it into a viable large-scale process.
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