Minneapolis’ Urban Bean Coffee has sold its Lyndale location to Misfit Coffee, which is currently operating a coffee trailer regularly parked near Gold Medal Park, at a counter inside the Weisman Art Museum, and at various pop-ups around town. True to its coffee truck (or trailer, rather) roots, Misfit’s vision for the space is less focused on creating a quiet work space, and more on fostering an environment for conversation and interaction.
“The key component is ‘sure, we’re totally gonna let you use your computer,’ but it’s intended to be a social space where people can talk and have fun, and have it be an experience,” says Marcus Parkansky, owner of Misfit. To accomplish this, he says the design will be much more comfortable, with the addition of color and cozier seating more suited for conversation.
Parkansky says he intends to keep all of the same offerings available in the trailer, with a few additions. With a much larger refrigeration system in place, the shop will be able to greatly expand its cold brew menu, such as lattes using cold brew concentrate. “I want people to be able to experience coffee in a bunch of different ways,” he says.
Misfit was looking around the Cities for a brick-and-mortar location for about a year before this spot landed in its lap. When Urban Bean owner Greg Martin emailed Parkansky with the offer, he knew it was too good to pass up.
“All the pain in the ass work has already been taken care of,” he says, making the transition much easier and faster. Parkansky says he expects to be largely up and running by June 1. And, with a bit of luck, he hopes to obtain a liquor license for wine and beer sometime within the next year.
As for the biggest change he expects going from mobile cafe to brick-and-mortar, Parkansky hopes he can continue attracting the “misfits” in need of some good coffee. “There are all sorts of people over there that are young, old, hip, and not,” he says of his current location near Gold Medal Park. “Misfit never intended to be pretentious. We’re having fun and serving good coffee.”
Urban Bean’s other location on Lake Street will remain open, and its owner has indicated that he’s looking at some other real estate for a new branch. Misfit’s trailer will keep serving up coffee around the metro.
Earth Rider Brewery in Superior, Wisconsin is expanding its brewing capacity to make way for increasing demand for their beers. On Tuesday, April 24 at 7am, Earth Rider will be installing two more large vessels, a 40-barrel fermenter and 40-barrel brite tank. In addition to that, the brewery—which started brewing last September—already has more expansion projects in the works for later this year, and plans to start distributing to Two Harbors this week.
Urban Growler Brewing Company teamed up with the University of Minnesota in an effort to help preserve the rainforest. David Wilsey, director of the Masters in Development Practice (MDP) program, came up with the collaboration when he approached the brewery’s co-owners about brewing with the ramón nut, which can only grow in the rainforests of Central and South America. The brewery released two beers from the collaboration, a brown ale and a stout, in March in the taproom.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum is partnering up with nearby brewery Funk Factory Geuzeria to take advantage of an unexpected, often overlooked fruit—the Osage orange. The pale green, lumpy, softball-sized fruit found scattered across the grounds of the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens appealed to brewery owner Levi Funk, who noticed their citrusy scent on a stroll through the gardens last autumn. Funk Factory Geuzeria, which is known primarily for brewing sour beers, will be tapping the first two beers of the collaboration at their Madison brewery on Sunday, May 6.
What seems like a novel trend of cannabis infused drinks today is actually a practice that dates back over a thousand years. Currently on display in a French museum is a vessel dating back to the 2nd century B.C., discovered in 2015 during an excavation near the French town of Cébazat. Analysis of the plant materials remaining in the vessel found “biomarkers” for wine, resin, and THC. That’s right, the early civilizations of modern-day France were apparently partaking in cannabis wine, well ahead of the curve with today’s cannabis beverages.
Chankaska Creek Winery in Kasota, Minnesota, has acquired a mobile wine bottling operation, which is a quicker upgrade from their previous manual gravity-fed bottling lines. The winery purchased the system from Elmaro Vineyard in Wisconsin after the owners decided to retire from bottling.
Crisp & Green, the the health food sensation gripping the nation (re: the Twin Cities), is opening up two more locations this summer in Dinkytown and in Edina at 50th and France. The healthy eatery opened its first spot in Wayzata last year, and another in the North Loop soon after. The concept comes from CEO Steele Smiley, who first started his personal training business Steele Fitness and then looked for a way to broaden his reach. As he told City Pages, “With Crisp & Green, I get the chance to help people make great food choices to help them reach their goals when they’re not working out.”
North Minneapolis’ Tori 44 officially has its doors “halfway open,” according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook. The second location for Tori Ramen is holding a series of soft openings in anticipation of its grand opening, “which will be soon.” It will be open for lunch from 11am–2pm, and dinner from 4–10pm Wednesday–Thursday, and 4–11pm Friday. The post finishes with a plea: “Go easy on us, still hiring staff and figuring out our service steps!”
Both Davanni’s in Uptown and Vescio’s in Dinkytown have recently closed, soon making way for Korean fried chicken joint Bonchon. The chicken haven started in South Korea, and is most well known for, well, it’s delicious Korean-style fried chicken slathered in soy glaze, as well as a variety of other Korean items.
A skyway of downtown Minneapolis is about to get a whole lot tastier with the addition of Los Ocampo Express, a quicker iteration of the taqueria. The restaurant will soon be going into the City Center at the skyway level, according to a tweet by Star Tribune food critic Rick Nelson. “Best City Center newcomer since the advent of Cardigan Donuts,” he added.
Out of over 20,000 applicants from 191 countries, 20 winners were chosen for the Obama Foundation fellowship, including Minnesota artist Ashley Hanson. Based in Granite Falls, a small town 125 miles west of the Cities, Hanson’s work aims to connect rural communities through art. “I hope I can amplify more voices,” she told the Star Tribune, “and draw more attention to the work happening out on the prairie and across the country.”
A full-length album of entirely unreleased Prince music will be released this fall, according to Troy Carter, an executive who’s serving as “entertainment advisor” to Prince’s estate. The first teaser for the album was released last week, a never-before heard recording of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Carter says the enthusiastic response to the recording encouraged the estate to go ahead with the release of the full album, as well as “several projects now that we’ll be talking about later on.”
The 2018 Minnesota Book Award winners have been announced. More than 250 books were submitted for the 30th annual award ceremony, which a panel of judges whittled down to a shortlist of 36 finalists. Winners of awards include “A Different Pond” by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui in the Children’s Literature category; “The End of Temperance Dare” by Wendy Webb in Genre Fiction; and “What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky” by Lesley Nneka Arimah in Novel and Short Story. 89.3 The Current’s Andrea Swensson scored the award in Minnesota Nonfiction for “Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound.” Find the rest of this year’s winners here.
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