The Mill: Minneapolis mainstay Lucia’s Restaurant to close

Lucia's Restaurant in Minneapolis is closing this // Photo via Lucia's Restaurant Facebook

Lucia’s Restaurant in Minneapolis is closing this // Photo via Lucia’s Restaurant Facebook

September 27—October 3

Perhaps no restaurant in the last three decades had been mentioned as a leading light in the Twin Cities culinary constellation more often than Lucia’s. The Uptown eatery, which spawned a wine bar and a bakery/cafe since opening in 1985, will be closing this month, the Star Tribune reports.

Long before farm-direct sourcing was de rigueur in Twin Cities dining, Lucia Watson hardwired a promotion of local purveyors into the DNA of the restaurant, which earned her three James Beard Award nominations. Watson sold Lucia’s in 2014, and despite the thematically perfect placement of forager-chef Alan Bergo, it was the removal of a parking lot in the ever-crowded Hennepin-Lake district that scuttled the business.


Great American Beer Festival kicked off Tuesday, October 3 // Photo © Brewers Association

Great American Beer Festival kicked off Tuesday, October 3 // Photo © Brewers Association

Great American Beer Festival kicked off Tuesday in Denver, Colorado, with 14 Minnesota breweries represented.

Pints for Puerto Rico is a fundraising effort in taprooms across Minnesota to aid those affected by Irma and Maria. On Thursday, October 5, $1 for every pint sold at participating breweries will be donated to Unidos Por Puerto Rico.

Summit Brewing is renovating its Beer Hall, which was completed back in 1998. Summit expects the Beer Hall to remain open during construction, with the beer production to not be affected.

Tattersall Distilling will have a presence at MSP Airport sometime next year. They plan to open a cocktail room in Terminal 1. Construction begins in February.

Sphere opened last week as part of the major renovations of the Fifth Street Towers building. Located on the skyway level, it has a cocktail bar and kitchen that serves small plates.

Dunkin’ Donuts got in on the beer scene for the first time ever this year by brewing its own Dunkin’ Punkin Brown Ale with craft brewer Catawba Brewing Company in North Carolina.

Heineken is releasing a new beer named H41 in October, made with wild yeast that was discovered in Patagonia, Argentina. The release will be in New York City only, with plans for national sales later on.

Scientists in Germany proved that drinking beer makes people happy. Hordenine, an alkaloid found in malted barley, stimulates the same part of our brains as dopamine.

A recent report from the Brewers Association shows that craft beer contributed $68 billion dollars to the US economy in 2016 including 456,000 full time jobs.

Apps for rebates on alcohol purchases are on the rise. One of the most popular apps, Ibotta, operates by having consumers upload their receipts to the app. Once a consumer reaches $20 in rebates, they can cash out via Paypal, Venmo, or the like. For manufacturers, apps like these boost sale incentives, create a new avenue for insights, and give new ways to advertise their products.


Cafe Maude is reopening as Book Club, a new concept from Kim Bartmann // Photo via Cafe Maude's Facebook

Cafe Maude is reopening as Book Club, a new concept from Kim Bartmann // Photo via Cafe Maude’s Facebook

Cafe Maude becomes Book Club, set to open as a California fusion eatery. Restaurateur Kim Bartmann will add the space to her considerable restaurant empire, as chef Asher Miller helms the kitchen.

The St. Paul City Council will hold a public hearing on October 4 at 3 p.m. on the Sustainable To-Go Ordinance about the immediate serve or to-go packaging affecting food businesses in St. Paul.

Minneapolis eats are expanding east—to St. Paul. Minneapolis’ Kyatchi is opening a second location in St. Paul soon, Market House Collaborative has made a home in Lowertown, and Republic owner Matty O’Reilly recently expanded over the river with Red River Kitchen, Bar Brigade, and Delicata. Seems like a good time to live in SP.

Chef Paul Berglund, formerly of Bachelor Farmer and a James Beard Award winner, is now culinary director at Vestalia Hospitality, the centralized, organizational force behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza. Owners Ann Kim and Conrad Leifur created Vestalia to “lay the groundwork for future growth and expansion” and maintain culinary excellence across their restaurants.

Bulldog Northeast will close on October 5 and eventually reopen under new ownership and a new name. Owner Amy Rowland sold the business to its longtime chef, Kevin Kraus. The decision to sell came after retirement, and then after experiencing destruction of her newly purchased home in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Rowland and her husband plan to land in Texas. Kraus looks to reopen as Stray Dog, a diner with a late-night vibe, and offer by-foot delivery to locals.

A cheese bar is opening in St. Paul named Gazta & Enhancements from the brains that brought us O’Cheeze and Dough Dough food trucks. Gazta & Enhancements will be one of the anchor tenants of Keg & Case Market, the St. Paul food hall in the works.

Pig Ate My Pizza, part of the Travail collective, announced they are open on Sundays from here on out (in addition to Wednesday-Saturday).


Minnesota Lynx win on Sunday forces Game 5 in the 2017 WNBA playoffs // Photo via Minnesota Lynx Facebook

The Minnesota Lynx captured a crucial win over the Sparks in Los Angeles on Sunday, setting up a decisive Game 5 for the WNBA Finals crown in Minneapolis on Wednesday. The Lynx have won 3 titles in the last 6 seasons, but lost to Los Angeles in Game 5 of the Finals in Minneapolis last year.

The Minnesota Twins look to end their playoff futility against the New York Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game tonight in the Bronx. The winner of the one-game playoff will face the Cleveland Indians in the divisional series.

The Minnesota Historical Society is working on an app that will help those experiencing memory loss, thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The app will use pictures from the Society’s collection to help spark memories and conversations. Listen to the story from MPR.

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy is going to build a 300-megawatt wind farm in South Dakota that would produce enough electricity to power every home in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The wind farm may be operational by 2021.

Due to ongoing financial struggles, Intermedia Arts has paused all operations. The 44-year-old organization has offered programming for artists of all kinds and has been a mainstay in its Minneapolis neighborhood. Board leaders are working to save the organization and look towards a more sustainable future.

A new, modern, tech- and eco-friendly 33-site campground opened up at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park. Of special note are solar-panel heated showers, charging stations not far from fire rings, and campsites equipped with Wi-Fi signal. Reservations can be made through Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 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]