Restaurant openings are picking up steam as 2023 draws to a close
The final few months of 2023 have brought a huge slate of restaurant announcements for Minneapolis and St. Paul. If 2023 was a year where momentum built steadily in the local scene, 2024 might just be a year where restaurant openings zip along at the speed of light. Here are the Twin Cities’ biggest upcoming restaurant openings, from a neighborhood revival in Longfellow to lakeside Mex-Tex near Bde Maka Ska.
It’s familiar news that James Beard Award-winning chef Ann Kim’s Uptown restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, is converting to a Korean American restaurant, Kim’s. But now, with the former having served its final order of mushroom birria tacos, the latter is on the precipice of opening. A menu hasn’t been released yet, but Kim recently teased videos of gyeranjjim (an ethereal steamed egg dish, garnished with scallions), haemuljeon (a savory seafood pancake), and hotteok (a sweet pancake filled with brown sugar syrup) on her Instagram page. Downstairs, the former Basement Bar is transforming into Bronto Bar, a casual cocktail lounge that holds the promise of Korean fried chicken and chive biscuits. The restaurant’s exterior got a refresh, too, with a mural by artist Julia Chon, aka Kimchi Juice. An opening date should be announced any day now. 1432 W 31st Street, Minneapolis, MN, 55408
Lynette is the new restaurant coming to Longfellow’s former Riverview Cafe and Wine Bar. As Mpls.St.Paul Magazine reports, Billie Conaway, Travis Serbus, and Melissa and Ben Siers-Rients plan to fully renovate the 4,500-square-foot space and transform the old Riverview into a new kind of neighborhood restaurant. Serbus and Ben Siers-Rients (both of Petite León and Little Tijuana) are among the co-founders of Lyn65, the beloved, now-closed Richfield restaurant that transformed a strip mall space into cozy, time-worn haunt. Lynette an homage to Lyn65. Expect neighborhood-y, bistro-like dishes of the finest sort: fresh pasta, rotisserie chicken, duck fat fries, sourdough pizza, etc., plus wine and cocktails. Lynette is slated to open in spring of 2024. 3753 42nd Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN, 55406
Jorge Guzmán, James Beard-nominated chef of Kingfield’s Petite León, has announced he’s opening a second restaurant in the Calhoun Beach Club, formerly home to Urban Eatery. Chilango’s focus will be, as Guzmán puts it, “Mex-Tex” food, a spin that leans into Mexican dishes but leaves room for Texan flair. (“I want to do Mexican food, but I also want the ability to pivot and smoke ribs, or throw down on some tasty as hell brisket nachos,” Guzmán said in a statement.) The bar program promises tequila, slushy frozen drinks, imported Mexican beers, and various cocktails. Chilango is slated to open in early 2024, giving it ample time to gear up for summer lakeside dining. 2730 W Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN, 55416
Tender Lovin’ Chix, which debuted just this spring, is making the food-truck-to-permanent leap and opening in the former Fire & Nice Ale House space in Uptown. Marques “Ques” Johnson and Billy Tserenbat (of Billy Sushi) are the names behind this spot — it’s one of Tserenbat’s growing number of local collabs, following his partnership with Jon Wipfli of Animales Barbecue. Tender Lovin’ Chix has made its name on its Tokyo-fried-rice-and-chicken-tender combo, so expect more of that, plus an expanded menu. Tserenbat tells Mpls.St.Paul Magazine the new spot will have a bistro feel, plus a full sake bar. 2700 Lyndale Ave S., Minneapolis, MN, 55408
There’s a spark of new life in the former Revival space on Nicollet Avenue. Adam and Jeanie Janas Ritter, both alumni of chef Gavin Kaysen’s restaurants, plan to open Bûcheron there this winter. As the Ritters told Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, their restaurant will emulate Paris’s “bistronomy” movement, a culinary style that takes bistro dishes — known for their simplicity and sense of terroir — and transforms them with gastronomic cooking techniques. Ritter recently left his chef de cuisine post at Kaysen’s tasting menu restaurant Demi, so it’s fair to expect a rigorous attention to detail and beauty on this menu. Cory Western and Tyler McLeod, also of Demi, are joining the Bûcheron team as CDC and manager. 4257 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, 55409
It was big news last year when Beard-nominated pastry chef Diane Moua announced she was leaving Bellecour Bakery to open her own restaurant. As Mpls.St.Paul Magazine reported in October, she finally has a spaced pinned down: Northeast Minneapolis’s food building. As Moua told Eater last year, expect pastries that meld traditional French forms with Southeast Asian flavors (yuzu, taro, etc.), Hmong home cooking tied to her family’s Wisconsin farm (guinea hens, bitter melon, pork fat with mustard greens), and modern savory dishes. Moua will also be collaborating with Erik Sather of Lowry Hill Meats. Look for an early 2024 opening. 1401 Marshall Street NE, Minneapolis, MN, 55413
Two local industry vets — chef Joe Rolle and bartender Stephen Rowe — are bringing a fresh pasta and vegetable-focused restaurant to the North Loop early next year. The pair told the Star Tribune that the new spot will have four menu sections: a raw section with crudo and oysters, a pasta section, an a la carte meat section, and a section of composed vegetable dishes (wherein the veggies themselves are the focus). Mixing and matching plates is the idea. Drinks-wise, expect highballs and spritzes, a number of nonalcoholic beverages, beer, and wine. 323 N. Washington Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, 55401
The latest intel is that chef Tim McKee’s new restaurant, currently under construction at First Street’s upcoming West Hotel, is set to open in the first few months of 2024. McKee, the chef behind former Twin Cities restaurants La Belle Vie, Solera, Sea Change, and Octo Fishbar, has devised a Basque-influenced menu of charcoal-cooked dishes and pintxos (small snacks typically served at Spanish bars), though finer details have been scant so far. Keep an eye out for updates in the new year.