Food and Drink
A big and high-profile bar and restaurant space on Nicollet Mall is coming back to life this spring with new operators.
Driving the news: Ties Lounge & Rooftop is opening next month at 921 Nicollet Ave., the four-story, 15,000-square-foot building that formerly housed Randle’s and Rojo Mexican Grill.
Why it matters: It's the latest effort to reanimate a downtown Minneapolis — and particularly Nicollet Mall — that is struggling to recover from the pandemic as most of its major employers haven't brought their workers back to the office.
State of play: Rexing sells her half-pound and five-pound cookies at retailers throughout the Midwest, including her two storefronts in the Twin Cities metro, and she's developed a major social media following.
- Her TikToks documenting the process of mixing new flavors have racked up tens of millions of views in just a few months.
I finally nabbed a reservation at Khâluna, a Southeast Asian restaurant in South Minneapolis by chef Ann Ahmed.
- The restaurant, bar and cooking studio opened in late October to rave reviews (and made our list of 2021's hottest restaurants).
Minnesotans looking to eliminate or cut back on booze in the new year have more options than ever.
Why it matters: Reducing alcohol consumption is good for your health.
- The growing availability and popularity of tasty, booze-free beverages can make temperance, even if temporary, more enjoyable and normalized.
At least 20 restaurants and bars across the metro are going back into hibernation as the Omicron variant sweeps the service industry and a labor shortage leaves many short-staffed.
What's happening: Businesses are canceling reservations, posting last-minute closures on social media and leaving signs on the door announcing outbreaks among staff.
- Axios has confirmed 20 establishments have temporarily closed due to COVID-19 for at least one day in the past week, as of Wednesday, though the number is likely higher.
Why it matters: Despite the CDC's shortened quarantine guidelines, as little as one exposure could force a small business to shutter for days.
A Nordic sauna is coming to Minneapolis' North Loop.
What's happening: The Freehouse partnered with Duluth's Cedar & Stone to install a wood-fired Finnish sauna on its patio.
- Instead of jumping in a cold lake after warming up, brave souls can replicate the traditional sauna experience by popping into a second structure made of frozen blocks crafted by a local high-end ice company.
Despite repeated hits to the industry, the Twin Cities restaurant scene is expected to expand with exciting new eateries in 2022.
The big picture: After a number of closures in 2020, the last year had plenty of exciting restaurant openings drawing national attention — and there's more to look forward to.
- Here are some upcoming openings to watch for this year.
Skipping the parties this year? Restaurants across the Twin Cities metro are hosting late-night dinners on New Year's Eve, with prix fixe menus or exclusive specials.
- Act fast. Reservations are running low.
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