A onetime mattress factory has been remade into a sleek distillery with a cocktail room and a kitchen serving thick-crust pizzas.
King Coil Spirits (550 Vandalia St., St. Paul, kingcoilspirits.com) opens Sept. 29 with a full bar and a menu of Roman-style pizzas, starters, salads and charcuterie from executive chef Bryan Hurley. The distillery softly opened a couple of weeks ago, just serving pizzas for takeout while offering visitors a glimpse of the forthcoming bar and dining room.
King Coil is the work of co-founders Matt Zanetti and Matt Lange and Jeremy Maynor; it's a sister business to Lake Monster Brewing, both in the Vandalia Tower. Minneapolis architecture and interior design firm Cuningham built out the airy space.
Cocktails will be mixed from King Coil's opening lineup of spirits, including house-made gins, rum, vodka, whiskeys and more than 20 liqueurs. King Coil's core spirits also will be sold at the distillery.
Duluth Coffee Kitchen now open
Yet another reason to load up the car for a gorgeous road trip to the North Shore: Duluth Coffee Co. is bringing back in-house dining with its adjacent Duluth Coffee Kitchen. The shop that revolutionized in-house roasted coffee in the Zenith City had dabbled in dining just before the pandemic shut everything down.
The space that will likely forever be known as the Original Coney Island is owned by Eric Faust, who told the Duluth News Tribune that he's "fully fallen in love" with this downtown block. The kitchen's general manager is Sam Levar, who will oversee service of the breakfast goods and full bar, open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Duluth Coffee Co. (105 E. Superior St., duluthcoffeecompany.com) opened in 2012 and has grown to include its roastery as well as the neighboring Duluth Candy Co. (Faust has a knack for naming these things.)
Gordy's Hi-Hat adds a food truck
Peak-season lines outside Gordy's Hi-Hat, Cloquet's iconic burger stand, can be epic. For stop-and-go drivers eager to get to the cabin, Gordy's has expanded its offerings with a new bright blue food truck, aiming to get visitors in and on their way quickly. The trailer is parked close to the back pavilion, near the dog park, and will be open weekends while the peak season lasts.
The trailer serves a menu of brats and a side called Lumberjack Bites — bacon, cream cheese and jalapeños all in one fried package. Gordy's is at 415 Sunnyside Drive, Cloquet, Minn., gordys-hihat.com.
Picnic coming to Linden Hills
Picnic, a new lunch and dinner restaurant and bar, is in the works for the Linden Hills neighborhood inside the former Clancey's location (4307 Upton Av. S., Mpls., picniclindenhills.com). Elizabeth "E" Kitzenberg, along with spouse Andrew, are currently crowdfunding, with the goal of opening in early 2024.
According to Southwest Voices, the restaurant aims to be a neighborhood gathering space first, with food second. Menu centerpieces will include picnic boards, sandwiches and cozy entrees like a cheesy lasagna served in a bowl.
New coffee shop joins the Grand Avenue mix
The former site of Dixie's on Grand (695 Grand Av., St. Paul) has been transformed into Kenton House, a five-story luxury apartment complex, and the restaurants that anchor it are getting ready to open. In addition to the return of Irish-themed bar Emmett's Public House and sushi restaurant Saji-Ya, with expected openings in October, a yet-to-be-named third business will serve baked goods and coffee. Details are expected to surface later this month.
Tracy's Saloon will close this month
After more than 40 years of beer and wings, beloved neighborhood bar Tracy's Saloon (2207 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., tracyssaloon.com) is closing this month, as its owner plans to retire to Florida. The news was shared via social media, along with a promise to share the exact closing date soon.
The bar first opened as Dick Tracy's in 1979, but when the owners of the rights to the comic book sleuth threatened litigation, the first name was dropped. In 2006, Sanjaya Wanduragala bought the business and oversaw an extensive renovation to the building, reopening with a modernized menu in 2014.
Apostle Supper Club dresses up for Halloween
Never one to shy away from a theme, downtown St. Paul's Apostle Supper Club (253 W. Kellogg Blvd., apostlesupperclub.com) is leaning into spooky season with Tiki Terror, a "Pirates of the Caribbean"-type theme on top of the tiki theme in the massive bar and restaurant space. There will be special cocktails and plenty of well-placed skeletons to set the mood. Also, look for seasonally appropriate movies to be paired with special menus; check the restaurant's social media for the lineup. Creepy times began this week.
Pickwick serving up that famous omelet from 'The Bear'
One more Up North tidbit: The Pickwick is hosting a dinner that draws inspiration from Hulu's hit culinary stress-dream/love letter "The Bear" on Oct. 22. Tickets are $100 for seven courses, each inspired by one of the show's characters. The first course, named for Sugar, is the internet-famous omelet made with Boursin cheese and topped with crunched-up sour cream and onion potato chips. Call the restaurant to reserve seats (508 E. Superior St., Duluth, 218-623-7425, pickwickduluth.com).