Ice cream is churning, patio season is within reach and new restaurants are getting ready to open their doors. With several imminent restaurant launches on the horizon, you can be sure it's spring in the Twin Cities area. Anticipated opening dates are noted where available, but know they can be a moving target due to permitting and other factors. Follow each restaurant's social media to stay up to date.
After much anticipation, Nixta, the Northeast tortilleria and taco stand from Kate and Gustavo Romero, announced it is expanding. Named for the Spanish word for gold, Oro will be adjacent to the original shop and have about 45 to 50 seats for sit-down dining. Menu details are still tightly under wraps, but the restaurant will be open Wednesday through Saturday for dinner service at first, with hopes to add a brunch menu. Construction of Oro has been nearly finished for weeks, and the proprietors are waiting on the permitting process before announcing an opening date.
1222 NE. 2nd St., Mpls., nixtampls.com
A new restaurant coming to the site of what used to be the Sheridan Room and Modern Cafe in northeast Minneapolis aims to deliver on crowd-pleasers that aren't necessarily made from animal protein — plus a full bar. The restaurant boasts Derik Moran as executive chef (he previously was chef at the Dakota and Augustine's) and is owned by Martina Priadka. When it launches, ALTBuRGEr will be open daily for lunch and dinner. The name stands for "All Love This Burger." Opening April 11.
337 13th Av. NE., Mpls., altburgermpls.com
Bogart's Doughnut Co.
Bogart's Doughnut Co., home of that fluffy, brown butter-frosted icon of fried dough, is expanding to St. Louis Park with an opening date of April 14. The new location is under construction in the Miracle Mile strip mall on Excelsior Boulevard, near Hwy. 100. Until then, satisfy cravings at the original Minneapolis location (904 W. 36th St.) or order online.
5003 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, bogartsdoughnutco.com
The margarita and taco restaurant from owner Jami Olson and chef Jose Alarcon is opening its next location in the former Menchie's/Great Clips on Cleveland Avenue in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood. But that's not all. The 6,000-square-foot space means there's plenty of room for more, and the group's Everywhen Burger Bar concept will move in, too. Like the original location (1414 NE. Quincy St., Mpls.) and its sibling (2412 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls.), Centro and the burger stand will be counter service. There also will be a full bar, which means the odds for margaritas on tap are good. Opening late April.
750 S. Cleveland Av., St. Paul, centrompls.com
Named after a short-grain glutinous rice from the northern regions of Laos, Gai Noi is chef Ann Ahmed's new fast-casual project overlooking Loring Park, in the former 4 Bells space. Ahead of an official opening, Ahmed is hosting two sold-out preview dinners to celebrate Lao New Year April 14-15 at sister restaurant Khâluna.
1610 Harmon Place, Mpls., gainoimpls.com
Father-and-son duo David and Eli Fhima are turning the historic Ribnick Furs Building in Minneapolis into a restaurant, basement bar and event center. The space is oozing with history, with 12-foot ceilings held up by thick timbers dating back to the 1800s, restored wood floors and windows, and even an old safe turned into a rare wine room. The ground-level restaurant and the underground space will each feature classical French menus. Also, 45 parking spaces come with the building, a boon for a neighborhood. Opening in May.
224 N. 1st St., Mpls., maisonmargauxmpls.com
The espresso-centric cafe continues its expansion plans by opening inside the literary space Open Book in Minneapolis' Mill District. This will be the fourth FRGMNT location; it joins the original North Loop shop in the Nordic Building and others in Eden Prairie and St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis. Opening early May.
1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls., frgmntcoffee.com
A new plant-based restaurant is taking over the space vacated by Common Roots Cafe, slated to launch in May. In addition to seasonal, locally grown and regenerative foods, the menu will include opportunities to add THC to each dish. The restaurant is a project of chef Heather Klein of Roots to Rise.
2558 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.
Milly's Wine Bar
Also slated for the Mill District is Milly's Wine Bar. A project of Brandon Witzel (of Quinn Design), Jill Mortensen and Kay Phillips, who also co-own the Flock co-working space on Nicollet Avenue, the spot will offer guided food and wine pairings aimed at aficionados, intermediates, beginners and people who don't drink wine at all, according to an interview with Witzel in the Mill City Times. The building's exterior has been remodeled and workers are making progress on the interior. Follow instagram.com/millysmpls for updates.
1129 Washington Av. S., Mpls.
Marc Heu Patisserie Paris
Known as the home of some of the city's most gorgeous pastries, Marc Heu Patisserie Paris will relocate the bakery from its original Frogtown location to a historic, recently refurbished building near the intersection of Selby Avenue and Dale Street in St. Paul's Cathedral Hill neighborhood. Owners Gaosong and Marc Heu plan to open in May in the space that also includes enough room for a summer patio. Once up and rolling, expanded offerings are planned — including the possibility of a full bistro menu and beer and wine.
156 N. Dale St., St. Paul, marcheuparis.com