Twin Cities area restaurant openings and closings in 2022
There have been so many painful goodbyes this year, from longtime companies that have served the Twin Cities faithfully for decades, to relative newcomers who have only recently dared to take their chance.
This year’s closures included a generation of restaurants that had extraordinarily long runs as owners – many of them immigrants – faced retirement.
David Fongs, 64 years old.
Mama’s Pizza (indoor dining), 58 years.
Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar, 1950’s.
Asia Chow Mein, 50 years.
Perkins (maple), 42 years.
Keefer Court, 40 years.
Khyber Pass, 37 years.
Canton, 40 years.
Camdi, 35 years.
Rock Bottom Brewery, 30 years.
Black Dog Cafe, 23 years.
Erte & the Peacock Lounge, 21 years old.
Stella’s Fish Cafe, age 17.
Red Stag Supperclub, 15 years.
Mort’s Deli, 15 years.
Seven Steakhouse & Sushi, 15 years.
Even more had respectable stripes as trusted anchors in their neighborhoods and beyond.
10+ years: Grumpy’s (Roseville), Sen Yai Sen Lek, Black Sheep Pizza (St Paul), Sandcastle, Darby’s Pub & Grill.
Five to nine years: Hammer & Sickle, Tin Whiskers Brewing, Revival (original Minneapolis location), Able Seedhouse + Brewery, Firebox Deli (Minneapolis), Red Table Meat Co., Amore Uptown, Fremont, Hot Indian, Sheridan Room, Dumpling, Kyatchi (St. Paul), Zait & Za’atar, Local Roots.
Short but sweet: Other closed restaurants, many opening just before or during the pandemic, have had shorter but no less impactful tenures including: Zettas, Grand Catch, Nordic Waffles (Rosedale Center), BAD Wingz, Andy’s Diner, Gray’s, El Norte Kitchen , Ties Lounge & Rooftop, East Side Bar, Tequila Butcher (Wayzata), Minny Row Market and Provision Community Restaurant.
This year saw a burst of creativity and entrepreneurship in the Twin Cities food world, with restaurant openings reflecting the post-pandemic energy to grow big and make a mark.
The Suburban Renaissance
The suburbs were a particular beneficiary of this new restaurant life. They welcomed: Farmer and the Fishmonger (apple valley), Smack Hut (Bloomington), Protagonist kitchen and bar (Richfield), La Bodega Taco Bar (St. Louis Park and Crystal), Nouvelle Brewing (Robinsdale), wild rabbit (still water), pagoda (Roseville), White rabbit kitchen (And over), 9 Mile Brewing (Bloomington), Tono Pizzeria + Cheesesteaks (Woodbury), The Devil’s Lawyer (still water), Wingman Matt (Eden Prairie), the mud room (Medota), love pizza (Golden Valley), handle & spade (Edina), the better half (Lakeville), Crooked pint (Brutally), bear cave brows (Hopkins), Macanda (Wayzata), Northern Tavern (Plymouth), kitchen and rail (Eagan) Sato (St Louis Park), burger press (Edina), Gary’s Supper Club (Lakeville), White Bear Meadery (maple wood), Shakopee house and Rum range (Shakopee), wine side (Minnetonka), Taco Libre (Roseville) and several restaurants in Asia Mall (Eden Prairie).
Coffee shops are proliferating
Coffee shops experienced a resurgence, particularly those run by Black and Indigenous people and people of color. are new to the scene Makwa coffee (Roseville), Roots Cafe (St. Paul), Abogados Cafe (St. Paul), Flava Cafe (St. Paul), Mocha Mamas (Minneapolis), Hepcat coffee (St. Paul) and the thorn bush (Minneapolis). There were moves or extensions for FRGMNT coffee (Eden Prairie), the New uptown diner (Minneapolis), Alma Rules (Minneapolis), the Nicollet Diner (Minneapolis), Fletcher’s Ice Cream & Cafe (Minneapolis), Background story of coffee roasters (Minneapolis), Folly Coffee Cafe and Jinx Tea Bar (Minneapolis), Jones coffee (Minneapolis and Minnetonka), Misfit Coffee Co. (Minneapolis) and Spyhouse coffee roaster (Rochester).
Grocery halls and malls are getting even better
OG ZaZa, Black coffee and waffle barand shake hut all joined the Rosedale Center. With the opening of the Asia Mall of Eden Prairie comes Pho Mai, Uni Uni Bubble Tea, Bober Tea & Mochi Dough, Hot Pot City, taste of home, CrunCheese, Dosirak and Legendary Spice. The Mall of America welcomes duck fritter, Beard dads, 1. RND, Grandpa! from Greece, Bussin’ Birria and Kura Sushi. Find near Ridgedale Center rush bowls. mom dosa and disc both opened second locations in Midtown Global Market. The Nordschleife galley welcomed kawae and Ottimo. The Galleria got a sweet green and MSP Airport opened Settobello.
Fast, casual, fun
These new spots are perfect for a simple, breezy meal. At St Paul: capital corn, marios, burger press, Smok’N outdoors. In Minneapolis: Pa Tea and Poke, Urban pan, Boludo EL 38, Wrecktangle Lyn Lake, dream dairy, CrunCheese, Bober tea and mochi dough, Chicago is very peculiar, Revival smoked meat, Co-op from Nashville, TAMU grill, Official Fried Chicken, Afro Deli, Socca Cafe, Carbon kitchen + market, Abang Yoli, Vellee and Clancey’s.
The business districts of the Twin Cities are awakening from their pandemic sleep, courtesy of Spice & Tonic, noah, Hell’s cafeteria, mara, Riva terrace, Charlie’s Minneapolis Club, Guacaya Bistreaux, Bar Rufus, blonde, Miaou Miaou, wooden and paddle restaurant and ovation in Minneapolis; and from Noyes & Cutler, moment, lost fox, Tavern Gray Duck and Apostle Supper Club in St. Paul. The districts of St. Paul also received new energy GusGus, Kalsada and Em Que Viet.
sugar, flour and more
Get your bread and/or treats from these bakeries: Asa’s Bakery (Minneapolis), whim bread (Minneapolis), hold the wheat (St Louis Park), Soga mochi donut (St. Paul), Delicious! kitchen and bakery (St. Paul), Lutunji’s Palate (Minneapolis), Edward’s dessert kitchen (Minneapolis), a revised donut star (Burnsville) and two new Skyway Bakeries in downtown Minneapolis, Cardigan donuts and mother dough.
New water points
New (or returning) places to have a drink and eat and maybe enjoy some entertainment are: Lush lounge and theater, Little Tijuana neighborhood lounge, Emerald Lounge, jet set underground, Earl Giles distillery, Tom’s Watch Bar, Roxy’s Cabaret, Nomu room, Billy after dark and art and rec in Minneapolis. At St Paul: Wrong eye puppet, Emerald Lounge and Wild Bill Sports Salon.